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Diagnosing Your Firm’s Performance

I developed this diagnostic tool so my trainees could determine the progress being made. See if you recognize the performance of your firm in the descriptions below. Then contact me for help improving your diagnoses.

What can be accomplished? Plenty! I've worked with people in all categories and have successfully coached the critical few to perform at the Master's level.

Strategic Master
Tactical Journeyman
Ad Hoc Tourist
White Storyboard Review
Do we have the right issues and our best response to each? Does the Theme support our message? Is the Theme incorporated throughout the document?
Storyboards are a bit thin. If a Theme is used, it is shyly applied.
Usually skipped. Storyboards assign page limitations and outline the Table of Contents.
Pink Draft Review
Are we answering the requirements and technically sound in our approach? Did everyone complain about the Theme being "too" much? If not, edit more Theme references into the proposal.
Review the draft and start discussions about "What the client wants" and then edit some this into the proposal.
Find the nuggets that respond to the RFP and throw the rest away and start over.
Red Team Review
Have we stated the message in the most effective way?
Production is more organized, but the review is cursory and focuses on editing and missing graphics.
Review to see if you have some text for each section of the RFP. Slap some silly theme on the cover. Ship it.


Ad Hoc Tourist
Struggles to meet schedule.
Hit rate: 30 – 45%
Proposal Team intervention will raise this 10 percentage points.
Measure of success: They meet schedule.

Tactical Journeyman
Struggles to create robust storyboards. Benefits are a bit weak, but will be improved by a strong white team review.
Hit rate: 40 – 60%
Proposal Team intervention will raise this rate 15 percentage points.
Measure of success: storyboards become robust enough that new players can write sections without briefing. Benefits are obvious and strong. Proposal is compelling.

Strategic Master
A master is ready for theme development: They have a good understanding of the proposal process and they know the client. Their storyboards inspire unique and interesting additions. They are capable of delegating much of the writing and should be encouraged to do so by the Marketing Team Leader. Their storyboards are excellent training materials for proposal managers who may be asked to write a section or two. After storyboards, the Master's focus should return to the client and, if appropriate, monitoring of the client relationship.
Hit rate: 55 to 75%
Proposal Team intervention will raise this rate as much as 20 percentage points.
Measure of success: Clients feed back your theme in subsequent conversations or meetings. Proposal is delivered early.

Do you see your firm as less than Masters of your own fate? Contact me for help improving your diagnoses.