A Series of Best Practices: 9 – Be Constructive, Not Destructive

In government contracting, the Red Team reviews the proposal and directs mid-course corrections. However, this process is very often broken. The proposal team works long and hard on the proposal and they’ve had a contrarian review it to make it stronger.

Some companies will go another step further and will bring in a “red team” – executives and subject matter experts to serve as “fresh eyes”.

Inevitably, the red team looks at the proposal and tears it apart, this brings the contract to a screeching halt. This is because the red team was more destructive than it was constructive.

In this scenario, the proposal team now has to go back and potentially start over to make all the necessary corrections they’ve been given. If the red team is going to make such strong fundamental corrections it might be best if they were part of the proposal process from the beginning to eliminate this need to go back to the drawing board.

If it is not feasible to have a dedicated Red Team working with the proposal team from the beginning (and very often this isn’t going to happen) then it is better to try to refocus the red team to help them be more constructive. Give your red team specific instructions not to tear apart the proposal, but instead to find ways to strengthen it. If a problem is going to be suggested then a solution must be accompanied with it.

Let’s assume the proposal department did their due diligence and the appropriate research when writing the proposal. If this is true it doesn’t need to be torn apart, simply polished and perfected. With this constructive outlook on the proposal, the Red team can be much more productive while working in tandem with the proposal team.

Try this out and see how it works.

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