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Transitioning from Bid to Project. By Paul A. Hutchings. It’s easy, right?. Win bid. Handover. Don’t look behind you – its CNQ !. 2. commercial in confidence. Who am I?. 15 yrs on Major UK, International and Multi-National civil and military Pursuits Typhoon FSTA WATCHKEEPER NORGIL

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it s easy right
It’s easy, right?

Win bid


Don’t look behind you – its CNQ !


commercial in confidence

who am i
Who am I?
  • 15 yrs on Major UK, International and Multi-National civil and military Pursuits
    • Typhoon
    • FSTA
    • NORGIL
    • Joint Military Air Traffic Services (MARSHALL)
  • Currently Consortium Director for AQUILA bidding MARSHALL
  • Produced Capture & Bid Process
  • Produced Training courses
  • Lecture at the Thales University
  • Institutions & Affiliations:
    • IOD (Chartered Director)
    • CIM (Chartered Marketer & Fellow)
    • ISMM (Member)
    • ILM (Fellow)
    • APMP (Member)
    • BCS (Chartered ITP)
aims objectives
Aims & Objectives
  • To share experiences
  • To challenge ‘the norm’
  • To seek ways to improve
  • To have some fun !

Is anyone in the wrong place ?

the bid process

The Management

The Bid Process?

‘Bid Everything Gate’


the problem project 1
The Problem Project - 1
  • No relation between negotiated Price & forecast Cost & the approved estimates
    • Things have moved on and not been recorded
  • Minimal continuity of key staff from Bid Phase
  • Project team always know better anyway - ‘not invented here’
  • Neither New or Original Solution can be delivered for the revised cost baseline
the problem project 2
The Problem Project - 2
  • New PM & team already on the defensive & probably have:
    • Unhappy customer
    • Unhappy Management
    • Unhappy Team
how do we fix problem bids
How do we fix problem bids?


We add in more Bid Reviews and Solution Reviews

Doing more Solution Reviews with an already under resourced and under pressure team is not the answer (sorry) !

continuous buying cycle
Continuous Buying Cycle

RFI, Consultation

RFQ, Project

Recognition of Need

Information Search

Explore Alternatives & Options

Purchase Capability

Post Purchase


Recognition of Need

Recognition of Need

The only real way to de-risk the project is to influence the buying cycle around your solution offering and cost .

To ensure Project is likely to succeed you first need to win the bid properly !


Winning is Easy:

  • Make customer want your offer;
  • Make it easy for him to select your offer.

Project Concept

Project Initiation

Contract Management & Vendor Assessment

Benefits Realisation

Business Development

Requirement Development


Market Sourcing

Transition and Implementation

Capture Phase

Contract Award

Identification of key commercial issues


Tendering EOI, PQQ, RFI, FRQ

Feasibility Testing

OJEU Notice

  • If you have not influenced the customer and shaped the requirement around your solution and price ahead of OJEU advert is a good bet:
  • Someone else has;
  • You are likely to spend a great deal on bid costs and come second OR
  • You will try and ‘buy the business’ and have a problem project on your hands
real rules of bidding 1
Real Rules of Bidding - 1
  • If you are in a commodity market selling on price alone you are probably not making any money
  • If the requirement is not written around your solution you should no bid
  • People buy from people not companies
    • Win hearts and minds ; Be their best chance of promotion
  • Use the Negotiation Phase post Preferred Bidder as your position of strength:
    • You are selected; to de-select is not easy for the buyer
    • Use the ‘elasticity’ between your need to get a good deliverable deal and the buyers need to close
  • Do not confuse Project Management with Bid Management
  • The Blue Sheet is not a Capture Plan !!
real rules of bidding 2
Real Rules of Bidding - 2
  • Do not let the sales manager write the Executive Summary
  • You can’t generate a Price to Win until you understand your competitors offer
    • In reality your solution and the PTW act in a spiral rather than serial manner – despite what the text book says !
  • There are at least 2 winners in any competition
  • You can not Process your way to successful bids and then successful projects
    • You need an holistic approach to Business Winning & Business Execution
      • People, Process, Tools
      • Facilities, Training & Development
real rules of review teams
Real Rules of Review Teams
  • Review Teams are often staffed by senior management who have never worked on a bid before
  • Very few are trained or accredited / benchmarked as reviewers
  • Tendency to talk about their last project rather than listen to yours
  • Like to be seen and heard amongst their peer group
  • Likely to sound confident and therefore right – they are often more senior
  • Bid Managers need to accept robust challenge but also stand up and be counted
    • Who really has ‘Skin in the Game’
    • Who is going to get fired ?
roles in business winning
Roles in Business Winning
  • Business Development Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Capture Team Leader
  • Bid Manager
  • Project Manager Designate
  • Solution Leader

Words like Manager and Leader imply hierarchy ?

Is this right ?

A business winning team is in reality a pan functional team where leadership must flow from the top and not the title or the seniority of people.

Do your Bid Staff align with Project Management or Sales & BD ?

What is best practise ? BD-CMM ?


Published by the BD Institute

Endorsed by the Association for Proposal Management Professionals (APMP)

Comprehensive view of all aspects of acquiring contracts

Auditors available to assess organisations

bd cmm summary
BD-CMM Summary

Key Process Categories (KPC)





Increasing Customer Value

Improving Performance & Synergy

Building Competencies and Teams

Enhancing Systems & Processes


Key Process Areas (KPA)

5. Optimising

Innovation and Transformation

4. Managed

Relationship management

  • Enterprise influence
  • Quantitative Process Management

High performance teams

  • Business develop. system integration
  • Infrastructure management

3. Defined

Solution development

  • Organisational tactics
  • Quality management

Organisational competencies development

  • Business development processes
  • Support systems

Maturity Levels

2. Repeatable

Response generation

  • Business development administration
  • Quality control

Individual skills development

  • Sales / capture procedures
  • Work environment

1. Initial

Ad hoc


This is the entry level for bids and proposals accreditation. To achieve this level requires a minimum of one year of experience working in a proposals-related environment, and ability to demonstrate commitment to improving skills in this area.

The necessary experience to produce winning bids and proposals and able to demonstrate commitment to both the profession and to improving skills in this area through continuous professional development.

This is the senior level of accreditation. The necessary experience to produce winning bids and proposals and can demonstrate commitment to furthering the profession and personal continuous professional development.

handing over to the project team ok there is some best practice that helps
Handing over to the Project Team – OK there is some best practice that helps!
  • Ensure senior management buy in and support of a ‘one team’ culture – not separate departments fighting for resources and leadership of bid/project
  • Build Project Team into the Bid Team from the start
    • Bid Manager is NOT the PM
    • Have a PM Designate
    • SDA etc etc
  • Maintain one solution and cost baseline through the negotiation
  • Recognise PM needs to lead the negotiation supported by Bid Manager
handing over to the project team ok there is some best practice that helps1
Handing over to the Project Team – OK there is some best practice that helps!
  • Ensure Project Mobilisation is planned as part of the Bid
  • Hold a formal Stage Review to signal the transfer of ownership from Bid to Project – but keep bid team together till contract is signed off
  • Take your time to negotiate the RIGHT contract
    • Elasticity is with you till you sign
  • If you are a sales led organisation give the sales guys a Gross Margin objective not just Order Intake !
the silver bullet
The Silver Bullet ?



Minimal Solution De-Risking pre Bid = Maximum Cost of Non Quality RISK

  • Investing early in Solution De-Risking = Delivers more in return since:
  • Win rates go up
  • CNQ goes down

Surely a little more upfront investment is worth it ?



commercial in confidence