What Do Films Have to Do with Proposal Kick-off Meetings?

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There are striking parallels between film production and business proposal kick-off meetings. Both are pivotal in their respective domains, setting the stage for successful outcomes. In films, pre-production meetings harmonise the creative and logistical aspects, paving the way for a smooth shoot. Similarly, proposal kick-off meetings are the starting point for crafting a winning proposal. By drawing on the best practices from film production, we can glean valuable insights to enhance our kick-off meetings.

One of the key lessons we can learn from film production is the power of a unified vision. The director and producer are crucial in establishing a clear artistic direction and goals. This shared vision serves as a guiding light for the entire team. Similarly, in proposal kick-off meetings, the Capture and Bid Manager’s role is to understand the client’s needs and articulate the proposal objectives. This aligns the team and sets the stage for a successful bid. TIP: Having a sponsor in the meeting can help, but the focus should always be understanding how to win the tender.

Film pre-production meetings involve detailed discussions on script, shot lists, scheduling and roles, reducing ambiguities and overlap. In proposal kick-off meetings, this means defining each team member’s role, setting specific tasks, and establishing deadlines. APMP recommends that kick-off meetings occur 15% into the bid response duration. TIP: Don’t hold the kick-off meeting until you have done all the necessary preparations.

Effective resource management in filmmaking involves budget, equipment, and personnel planning. For proposal meetings, identify and allocate resources beforehand to prevent delays. Are key Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) going on holiday or engaged? TIP: Ensure writing tasks are correctly assigned, and offer to follow up with SMEs individually outside the meeting.

Films often have contingency plans for issues like weather disruptions or cast changes. Similarly, proposal kick-off meetings should incorporate risk management strategies to address potential issues before they escalate. TIP: Involve your legal team beforehand to identify and mitigate risks.

Film directors and producers communicate continuously through daily call sheets and production meetings to keep everyone informed. Similarly, establishing regular check-ins and updates keeps the team informed and engaged. TIP: The kick-off meeting is only the start. Hold daily status calls and use dedicated communication channels to update the team.

While the objectives of kick-off meetings in proposals and film production differ, clear vision, detailed planning, efficient resource management, proactive risk mitigation, and effective communication are universally beneficial. Adopting these best practices from the film industry can enhance the efficiency and success of proposal development processes. You may not get the coveted Oscar statuette to display in your toilet or become the next Martin Scorsese, but you will certainly increase the chances of winning your tender.

This article was written by Rita Mascia.

Rita’s journey into the world of bids and proposals started while working for an award-winning language and culture business organisation. Rita is a bid professional with 24 years of experience in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Her expertise in the bid cycle includes business development, capture, bid management, bid writing, and contract negotiations. Her passion lies in leading teams to win business by producing persuasive proposals that deliver what they promise.

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