Two simple tips for working smarter and winning more work in 2017
If you’re in the office over Christmas and not working towards a new year bid deadline (more on that next time), you might be using this time to reflect on the past year and get yourself ready for a successful 2017.
It can be difficult to think about possible efficiencies and improvements when you’re busy doing the day job but investing a little time now can help you work smarter and produce better bids in the future.
When we review our clients’ bid processes, two things frequently come up, both of which can transform your bids and be implemented fairly easily.
Making time to reflect
When you have multiple deadlines, it’s easy to go from one bid to another without reflecting on how the last one went. Doing this can create bad habits and prevent positive ones from forming. It’s good practice to hold a lessons learnt session after each bid but often this only happens on larger contracts. A quick and simple approach is to do a ‘three point reflection’. This can be done on every bid, to identify key learning points, without taking up too much time.
The exercise focuses on three questions, which can be put to everyone working on a bid to get a collective view:
1. What didn’t go well and should be stopped?
2. What should we start doing to improve the way we work?
3. What went well and should continue?
This process often presents simple ideas that can easily be put in place such as a small behavioural change or new process. For those that require more time or investment, it can be useful to assess if the change would have benefited future bids over a period of time to ensure it wasn’t an isolated issue before putting it in place.
Managing your bid content
A lot of time is spent writing and putting CVs and case studies into branded templates but they are rarely used in their final format and can quickly become out of date. Case study content is often edited to suit a specific bid and CVs are constantly evolving as new projects are delivered.
The time spent producing these can be better used to create and manage a centralised database of content instead.
The database will store all the same information as a traditional CV or case study but also provides the following benefits and functionality:
- Company capability and experience is stored in one place
- Content is easier to search, edit and use
- No duplicated or multiple versions of documents
- Content can be easily updated or removed
- Content can be filtered by any criteria such as sector, service, date, value
- Case studies and CVs can be linked
- Bespoke case studies and CVs can be created for specific bids
A comprehensive and well managed database will save time when managing and producing bids. A standard database programme can be used or you can use our bespoke bid software, which goes one step further and automates the production of CVs and case studies from your database for even smarter working.
For a free assessment of your bid systems and processes to help develop your plan of action for 2017, email email@example.com.
This guide highlights the types of people and skills you need in order to win tenders.
I often write about the challenges facing established bid teams but if you’re completely new to tendering for work, you might be wondering where to start.
Whilst a restricted submission and word count may seem like less work, it can actually be more difficult to condense your message into a few paragraphs.