19 MAR 21
Bid Teams are not Painters: Rethinking Colour Reviews

BiD Masters has been working in the bids and proposals space for a few decades and we’re pleased to see the progress the profession has made. There are, however, a few areas where tradition lives on. One that we believe is ready for a shift is Colour Reviews.

We talk about the origin and purpose of traditional colour reviews here. What we’ve seen though, is that these colours are becoming muddled – much more Jackson Pollock than Botticelli or Michelangelo. That’s why in the BiD Masters’ REWARD® methodology, we simplify things by providing meaningful titles for the reviews, together with the outputs expected.  

First up is a Readiness Review, where the various elements needed to prepare the response are addressed: solution overview, evidence, case studies, book plan, schedule, response outlines, style guide, discriminators and value propositions. This ensure consistency and completeness, so the response can be built on sound foundations and avoid unnecessary rework. The output is approval for the team to commence preparation of the response documents.

BiD Masters’ REWARD® methodology

Throughout the preparation, Evolution Reviews are carried out as each response matures, awarding scores according to the scoring guidance and providing advice to the author. This acts as a better guide to progress than an arbitrary self-assessment of the percentage completion.

During preparation of the response, unexpected things often unfold, especially with long response timescales. A Waypoint Review of the updated solution, evidence and value propositions, plus a selection of the higher weighted responses, ensures the team is still on track. This is also an opportunity for low-scoring responses to be given additional guidance.

As the submission date approaches, an Approval Review ensures the final proposition is well described, supported by appropriate evidence and likely to achieve a high score. Subject to the incorporation of the recommended amendments, this is the approval to submit.

Once the response has been submitted, it is vital to learn lessons from the process. A Retrospect Review captures potential improvements and areas that worked well. The output of this review is a collection of enhancements to be implemented on subsequent bids.

Once the result has been announced, the Decision Review looks at the outcome and if positive, celebrates the success and sets to work on the implementation plan. If negative, feedback is reviewed and lessons learned from feedback are captured.

We all agree that reviews are essential as part of the bid-winning process. But what do you think is easier for everyone to understand ­– a Blue Review or a Readiness Review? A White Hat or a Retrospect Review? A rainbow of colours or the REWARD acronym for review names? Let’s drop our black and white hats, put away our paintbrushes, and start calling a spade a spade.