You Can Build a More Cohesive Proposal Team in Five Basic Steps

Cohesion is an important ingredient in any proposal development effort because it is very difficult to produce a highly competitive proposal if team members do not work well together.  There are some tried and true techniques you can use to promote a cohesive proposal team.

Technique 1:  All proposal team members should attend the kick-off meeting, either in person or by conference call.  One hundred percent attendance at kick-off meetings helps ensure that the entire proposal team will share the same approach and understanding.

Technique 2:  Help proposal team members get to know each other.  At a kick-off meeting, have team members introduce themselves and explain their roles.  If members are working in the same location, provide opportunities for them to eat lunch together and informally socialize so that they can develop trust in each other and a feeling of enjoyment in each other’s presence.

Technique 3:   Promote a team effort.  Create structured opportunities for members to work together and learn from each other.  Use the following approaches to build cohesion:

  • Use open and honest communication that is respectful but very clear and straightforward.
  • Use collaborative work patterns.
  • Use collaborative decision-making patterns.
  • Respect all team members.
  • Provide visible support for all team members.

Technique 4:  Treat your proposal team well.  Give them the privacy, resources, and amenities they need to perform well.  Make sure that senior management knows about their work and praises their efforts loudly and openly.  Feed them well.  And most importantly, discourage them from working nights and weekends unless it is absolutely necessary.

Technique 5:  Make sure your proposal team is suitable rewarded.  They should be profusely thanked for their hard work during and at the end of the proposal effort and compensated generously for their work.

A cohesive team is a happy and productive team.  Create the environment for cohesion and your proposals will improve.

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