Steve Hennessy – Hennessy Defense Are you kidding me…that was a proposal kick-off meeting?
Agenda Why hold a comprehensive killer Proposal Kick-Off Meeting When should you have the Kick-Off Meeting Who should run the Kick-Off Meeting and Who should be invited What are the contents of a great Kick-Off Meeting
Survey How many of you are involved in large, complex, time limited proposals? How many have been responsible for a Proposal Kick-Off Meeting? How many have attended a Kick-Off Meeting? How many have attended a Killer Kick-Off meeting where every question has been answered?
High Performing Teams* • Expectations - Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and expectations • Tension - Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere • Contribution - Team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute • Conflict - Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed. Criticism is constructive • Decisions - The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement — in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, after which little second-guessing occurs. • Responsibility - Each team member carries his or her own weight and respects the team processes • Leadership - The leadership of the team shifts from time to time, as appropriate, to drive results. * Excerpted from The Collaboration Imperative by Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese. Published by Cisco Systems. Trust - solid and deep trust in each other and in the team’s purpose —free to express feelings Goals - Everybody is working toward the same goals Work Together - clear on how to work together and accomplish tasks
The Nature of a Proposal • Content spans a variety of functional groups that must pull a cohesive story together – Engineering, Management, Manufacturing, Logistics, Cost, Performance on Current Jobs, etc • Innovation is critical to winning • You are competing against another team – not another company Brings together diverse group that needs to become a High Performing cohesive team within days A submission deadlinecannot be missed The environment can be highly stressful
Why Hold a Killer Kick-Off Initializes the 10 characteristics of a High Performing Team Firmly establishes the baseline for every aspect of the proposal with as little ambiguity as possible Provides all team members with the bigger picture of what must be accomplished….they see how their part fits into the whole offering Forces the Capture Manager and the Proposal Manager to have their act together before the team fires off in all directions Provides understanding of why due dates are not arbitrary Reduces B&P Costs – minimizes wasted time Creates a unified team mission – WINNING!!!!
Failure Modes and Effects* 1. Talker Domination 1. No contribution from the team – no collaborative solutions made 2. Stifling Subordinates 2. Subordinates brains stifled – ideas not generated 3. Wrong Priority 3. Kick-off rushed before ready – wasted efforts, rewrites, weeks in recovery 4. No Team Consensus 3. Writers turn to boilerplate material – Exec’s return to offices, details not identified 5. Deferred Decisions 3. Ideas not generated using collective wisdom – missed deadlines – rushed efforts 6. Rudderless Teams 3. Weak proposals without the details and quantitative solutions required to win * Excerpted from Kick-Off Meeting Guide by Carl Selfe
Background – The Capture Battle Plan Customer Customer Specifics / Rank Influence / Source Selection Role / History with you / Customer Management Plan Underlying issues / Not just price of admission / Rank Order / Beyond the Spec/ His Buying Problem / His point of view Most Imp Requirements (MIRS) Our Solution Detailed and Specific / Tech-Mgmt-Small Bus-Price / Win-Lose Factors / Why are we the Team they want to work with Competition Honest assessment / They are taking actions to win and want it as much as you do / From customer viewpoint Focus on critical actions that move the Pw needle / Specific and hard hitting / Mini-Program Plan for each “Critical” Actions How you will win / Key Discriminators / Allocate to all Sections of the Proposal / Features only we can offer Win Strategy and Win Themes
When to Hold the Kick-Off Meeting ID Phase Qual Phase Capture Phase Proposal Phase Post – Proposal Start-Up /Trans Draft RFP APBI / Recompete Sources Sought / RFI Final RFP Submission Award Full & Open IDIQ Task Order Typical Timelines 6 – 24 Mo 4 – 12 Mo 30-60 Days 7-30 Days 4 - 12 Mo 1 – 6 Mo 30 - 240 Days 30 - 90 Days • Celebration • Debrief • Internal Team Kick-Off Meeting • Customer Start-Up Review • Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) • Transition – Mgmt Team, Re-badging, Inventory, etc • Lessons Learned • Pre-Award Activities • Recruiting • Final Teaming • Orals • Product Testing • Proposal Prep Second Round • Annotated Outline – with rqmnts, pg counts, author, themes, discriminators • Story Boards – section themes, features / benefits / proof, references, primary content and graphica • Section Drafts - primary text, fully developed graphics, +/- 10% of pg count, • Section Finals – all text, fully reviewed graphics, within page count, formatted by pubs • Final Pricing • Management Reviews • Final Product Pre-Testing • Final Pubs, Copying, Delivery • Customer Identification – Source Selection Team, SSA, SSEB • Customer Most Important Requirements Analysis (MIRS) - Ranked • Solution Development - detailed for all rqmts including Tech, Mgmt, Price, IMS, Sm Bus, etc • Win / Lose Factors • Competitive Assessment • Win Strategy • Key Strategic Actions • Price-to-Win • Teaming • RFP Shaping • Opportunity Qual • RFI Response • RFP Influencing • Incumbent Program Assessment • Product Development • Studies / Analysis • Qtrly Pipeline Reviews (cut-line) • 3 Year Strategic Plan • Annual Pipeline Plan • Annual R&D Plan • Annual B&P Plan • Strategic Partners • Early Teaming • Long Term Customer Relations • BD / Capture Training Gate 3 - Proposal Kick-Off Pink Team Storyboards White Team Annotated Outline S1, S2, S3 Annual Strategic Plan Red Team Final Gate 2 – Bid / No-Bid Gate 1 – Pursue / No-Pursue IBR Internal Kick-Off Gold Team On-Screen Or… if No Draft RFP then right after Final RFP Blue Team #1 Win Strategy Blue Team #2+ Win Strategy Black Hat Competitive
How Long is a Kick-Off Meeting • As Long as it takes…… • Very Large, Prime Gov’t with Multiple Volumes, $500M+ • 1 - 2 Days is not too long • Large, Prime Gov’t with 100 pages or less, ~$50M - $500M • 5-6 Hrs possibly • Medium to Small with 50 pages or less, $20M - $50M • 3-4 Hrs… ish • Small with 30 pages or less, single volume • 2-3 Hrs – don’t short change
Who should run and Who should attend The Diamond Team The Capture Manager and the Proposal Manager All Writers All SME’s that will feed the writers Proposal Coordinator, Graphics, and Pubs Cost Roll Up Team (finance, materials, etc) Executive Leadership – approvers and Color Team reviewers Functional Managers who oversee the inputs for their area ALL KEY SUBCONTRACTORS – all players who will contribute
On-Line or In Person Meeting? Play Video – “The Conference Call” I’ll Let you be the Judge…..
What are the Contents • Customer Summary • Most Important Requirements (MIRS) • Summary of our Solution – technical, mgmt, logistics, price, past perf, etc • Competitive Analysis Summary • Strategic Actions Taken to Date • Win Strategy – Discriminators • Price to Win (PTW) • Teaming – summary of TA’s Capture Plan Proposal Plan RFP Detailed Breakdown Team with rolls and contact info Prop Schedule – detailed Sharepoint File Structure Annotated Outline – very detailed Storyboard Template, AMU Template, and Writing Template WBS – with Dictionary – BOE Template Notional high level program IMS Allocated Cost Targets each function
Customer Summary SSA- Selects SSAC- Compares Proposals • Rqmts Orgs • Users • Functional SSEB- Evaluates Proposals SSEB Chair Legal Contracts Tech Team EvalTech Merit and Proposal Risk Past Perform Team Cost Team • 100% Focus on who will be reviewing your proposal – SSA, SSAC, SSEB Team • Customer Org Chart with Notes • Customer List – ranked in order of decision making authority • Discuss: • What they like and don’t like • How will they know us • Who they would pick if no proposal was submitted • Do we do work for them today
Most Important Requirements (MIRS) Ranked List of MIRS • “The Customer” demand of the procurement… the prime motivators for selection • Relationship of emotional and logical requirements • “What is the customer’s Buying Problem” – not always in RFP • Each has an underlying driving issue(s) • MIRs are what is most important to the Customer, not what you think • Ranking them drives prioritization • MIRs are a synthesis of all the customers desires weighted by the most important decision makers
Competitive Summary Against MIRS Against Eval Criteria Relative Scoring against the MIRS and then against Eval Criteria (Section M)
Price to Win Baseline Assumptions Team Recco Cost/Price Reduction Ideas Reduction Ideas that need Mgmt Approval Reduction Ideas that push limits – Needs Exec Mgmt approval PTW is a Range – It is Constantly Updated – It is Owned by the Capture Team
Teaming Score Potential Teammates Against Specific ProgReqmnts Teammates Traditionally Listed with “X” Against the SOW Better A Better Teaming Matrix for improved decision making
Annotated Outline (#1 Failure Item) Author for Every Section - to Level 10 if required Section #s Collapsable Put in your own words what goes in this section Got to Level 10 if that is how it must be organized Add Critical Spec / SOW, and CDRL Para Ref Page Count – Leadership Team Decides Up Front Status at Various Stages – simple color coding Colorize the Levels – Level 1&2 – Fill in color Win Themes – Allocated to lowest level All Sect L, Sect MPara Ref (Just Para Ref) Cover all Volumes – All Detail Don’t Forget All Attachments
Storyboards – Its About the Graphics RFP Reqmnts Graphics Feature/Benefit/Proof Other Reqmnts MIRS/Sol/Comp Theme Sentence • Its about developing the graphic first • Its about developing the graphic first • Its about developing the graphic first • Then put Features, Benefits, Proof around the graphic
High Level Graphical Schedule Key Gov’t Milestones – should be defined by the RFP Insert Key prog milestones - notional at Kick-Off Big Picture Engineering Tasks or primary work scope Include Production, Logistics or whatever applicable Add Notes and Call Outs for key take-aways
Conclusion Hold a Killer Kick-Off – Just Do It Be Prepared – Make it Content Rich – Its Your Job Don’t Rush It – Good Things Take Time Make it Mandatory – This is Serious Business Get Exec Leadership Involved – Eliminate Rework
QUESTIONS ??? Steve Hennessy Hennessy Defense Steve.firstname.lastname@example.org 321-704-0262