Virtual Proposal Team Management

More than ever, virtual proposal teams are both increasingly common and necessary. Proposal managers must complete the same tasks in a virtual environment that are required when managing a co-located team. The increased challenges are most often communication and accountability.

Virtual proposal teams have proven to be not only successful and cost effective. In some organizations, developing a proposal virtually is the ONLY option due to resource or other organizational constraints.

Whether virtual or co-located, proposal teams always have the same goal: preparing a compliant, customer-focused proposal.

Whether employing a partially virtual team or applying a complete virtual model, use these guidelines for effective virtual proposal team management:

  • Identify and openly discuss the inherent challenges of working virtually to agree on a plan of action.
  • Establish virtual meeting ground rules early.
  • Exploit the advantages and compensate for the challenges of virtual teams.
  • Establish and maintain a high-trust
  • Clearly define and assign key virtual team roles and tasks—hold team members accountable.
  • Publish and keep “evergreen” the proposal schedule.
  • Select task-appropriate, easy-to-use technology—provide adequate training, when necessary.
  • Over communicate.
  • Employ ways to motivate the virtual team and individual contributors.
  • Establish a rigorous review structure—don’t short-change key milestones in the process.
  • Adapt to new technologies and tools as they come available.

Performing a lessons learned and documenting successes and challenges may be even more critical in a virtual proposal environment. Assign this task and hold the team accountable to help ensure continuous improvement.