The goal of this course is to be able to walk into a proposal at any stage and know what to do. Learn the different phases of proposal writing, and how writing proposals fits into the broader business development life-cycle. We discuss the fundamentals of government acquisition, and how to influence the government to choose your proposal.
The class tackles a sample Request For Proposal (RFP), with students generating products for all the proposal development phases: kickoff, pink team, red team, and delivery. Along the way, we explore how you can use your skills as a technical communicator and where you need to grow.
Technical communicators do an important job, but are rarely at the center of a company’s attention. Move to the center by winning new business. While this class is for all skill levels, it aims to be the first rung on the ladder to becoming a proposal management professional.
- Class expectations
- What we will cover
- Scope of assignments
- Course takeaways
b. What a techcomm professional brings to business development, what they don’t, why do it, how it’s complimentary to techcomm.
c. US Federal Contracting in a nutshell.
d. The Business Development life-cycle, including the Capture Process, the Business Case, and the Decision to Bid.
e. Assignment: write a paragraph why you want to take this class.
- Discuss the assignment
- Proposal tools
- What you can do now
- What you can do soon
- Further on down the road
- The RFP response schedule
- How proposals are evaluated and scored
- Assignment: Read sample RFP sections L and M. Extra credit to read entire thing.
- Discuss RFP reading
- Parts of the RFP-Lettered sections
- Discuss sample RFP-Scope of work, it’s a set aside-what does that mean? It’s emphasizes some requirements and not others (staffing and personnel, etc.)
- The response- Technical, Management, Past Performance, and Price
- What to do with an RFP-Outline, Kickoff, and Shred
- Assignment – do an outline of the RFP. Extra credit, do a shred.
- Discuss outline/shred.
- Storyboards and mockups.
- Win themes
- Features and benefits
- What Pink Team assesses
- Assignment – create storyboards
- Discuss how Pink Team process went.
- Now we get to write
- Working with SMEs
- Work rhythm
- Standup meetings
- Wall walks
- Format of Ted Team
- What Red Team assesses
- Assignment – write a section.
- Discuss Red team assignment
- Red Team recovery
- Gold Team
- Compliance matrix
- Editing and Production
- Post delivery
- A career in business development – what happens next
Sean Stevenson, Immediate Past President of the Washington, DC-Baltimore chapter of STC, is a technical communicator working in business development. He started as a creative writer who taught writing on the side, and eventually realized he needed a career, not just a means to support himself. In 2008, he took a job at Northrop Grumman in Maryland as a Technical Editor. Over time, he found his way into business development and in 2013, took a job as a proposal manager at EMCOR Government Services in Arlington, VA. Sean has an MFA in playwriting from the Actors Studio Drama School and a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago. He teaches yoga in his spare time and wants to teach English as a Foreign Language again.