Posted by Heather Lee on January 7, 2013
people don’t like change, and I’m right there with them in many cases (how dare
you update my favorite 70s-style mall?!). However, when it comes to technology,
I love change. Changes to the technology I use to do my work are especially
example, a lot of my friends had kittens when Microsoft updated Office to the
ribbon. They hated that change. Me, I loved it. If I couldn’t find something that
had moved, I hit F1 to look it up and kept on trucking. That’s my approach to
any software update, though: find the improvements and work them into my
proposal processes to maximize efficiency.
change is a bit more difficult, but we can adapt this kind of flexibility
beyond the tools we use to the way we work. In my experience with process and
procedure development, building a framework and refusing to flex it leads to
tears and yelling. Nobody likes those, so here are a few ways to make sure your
processes can tolerate change.
your contingencies. No single process can cover every situation, but you’re
familiar enough with your business to cover many of them. Build your process
around the most likely situations while keeping the fringes in mind. Having an
immovable time frame to provide pricing data isn’t doing you any favors when
you receive an emergency request for task order proposals with a tight
your minions. Designing a process around an entire team without consulting
the people who will carry it out is just daffy. These people will think of
contingencies you won’t, and it’s in their best interest as well as yours to
maximize efficiency within a process. They’re an excellent source of flex,
especially when you need to scramble proposal teams.
bottlenecking. The temptation to pin a process on one department or a
particularly strong staff member is both evil and common, so don’t.
Bottlenecking leads to stovepiping, which is the death of flexibility. Each of
your support teams must be able to work with your capture team daily to adjust
to RFP modifications and new incoming information, or your proposal won’t reach
process change really comes down to attitude and the willingness to fix what’s
broken in spite of it being “the way we’ve always done things.” When you build
this attitude into your processes (and even your life!), change really is fun.