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Do you use storyboards to plan proposals?

Storyboarding is a planning process used to create a visual summary of the structure and major elements of a proposal.

The next blog installment from our partners at twentysix2 is ‘Overcoming Objections to Storyboarding’.

The bid storyboard should be created before writing commences, the degree of complexity reflecting the scale and scope of the proposal. Pricing quotes for repeat business for an existing customer do not normally require this level of planning.

Organisations that use storyboards successfully understand that they are an integral part of the proposal process. They ensure that those tasked with implementation are familiar with them and can adequately explain their purpose. They commit the time needed to ensure that the storyboards are reviewed and updated completely before the messages are communicated to the writers.

Objections to a Bid Storyboard

The main objection to storyboarding is that it is an additional, unnecessary task that takes time away from writing. In reality, it is an essential planning tool which, when used effectively, provides the proposal manager with a method of controlling the proposal process and enables contributors to produce content that can be used without re-writing.

Here are some of the benefits of using storyboards to plan proposals:

  • Validates strategic & competitive approach – Because storyboarding looks at planning the entire proposal, it provides the opportunity to articulate a winning strategy and an approach to dealing with competitors which can be disseminated to contributors before writing commences.
  • Identifies potential strategic short-comings in a timely manner – Individual contributors, writing in isolation, may not be aware of capability gaps which can be rectified more quickly the sooner they are identified.
  • Provides the opportunity for collaboration on the solution – Although the proposal manager will normally take responsibility for the storyboard, detailed proposal planning is an iterative process involving the operational, technical and marketing teams from whom opportunities for collaboration may be identified.
  • Facilitates easy executive overview for approval – The reality of time constraints means executives are unlikely to read and approve every page of the proposal. Engaging senior management at the storyboard stage provides the opportunity for early approval of the strategy.
  • Provides a benchmark against which to review – Having identified strategic themes and competitive strategies, proposal contents can be reviewed to ensure that these messages are consistently applied.
  • Storyboarding can eliminate major re-writes, saving time & money – Organisations that use storyboards or similar proposal planning processes can double their productivity and halve the cost of writing proposals.

The bid storyboard is normally completed immediately after the proposal kick-off meeting and reviewed before writing starts. Following the review, bid contributors can be comprehensively briefed about win themes, competitive strategy and their responsibilities.

Author: Ian Sherwood CPP.APMP, Bid and Proposals Director, twentysix2.

If you want help with Storyboards, planning or any other aspect of proposal management, Bid Solutions’ consultancy services can show you the quickest way to make the biggest improvements. Please get in touch on 020 8158 3952 / enquiry@bidsolutions.co.uk

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