A Bid is just another Project – is it really?

In this article, I use the definition for bid as any formal submission of an #offer in reply to a (public) #tender, #RfP or #RfI.

Over the last years I often heard: let’s run the submission of a bid as a #project. My question is: can we really treat a bid as just another project? In this article, I share my opinion on this.

For sure there are commonalities between a bid and a project but there are some specifics to a bid which makes it questionable to run it as a normal project.

  • The time to submit a bid is often in the range of a few weeks. This leaves little time to start a formal (PRINCEII, PMBOK) project.
  • Quite often the team members are not very used to work in a project, they are sales oriented and less process or project driven.
  • In many bids I was involved in the bid team was very volatile, new members stepped in just a few days before a final submission.
  • Bid teams gets very excited on their submission fast, there is little room (also because of time pressure) to #challenge each other to create an even better answer.

The above-mentioned specifics convinced me that a bid needs to be run as a project from the perspective of planning but it also needs processes and tools to:

  • ensure everybody enjoy working on the bid;
  • create an environment where everybody (colleagues, partners and maybe even the end users) can share, #collaborate and challenge;
  • support full transparency to everything what happened in the bid process combined with a detailed audit trail of all changes;
  • use task planning and control alongside with document management and social media type posting
  • limit the use of email as this has the risk of missing information

FOMO? Sure, you don’t want any team member to miss any piece of information.

All of this triggered me to start defining a standardized approach for managing bids and to select a tool that fully supports this (and much more). More on this and updates on the progress will be posted here.

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