Bid Management is not a Marketing activity! – Project Integration Management

Project Integration ManagementWell it is actually, but equally so for Project based organizations it is also very much a Project or Program Management activity and the PMO within the project integration management organization needs to be fully engaged with the Bid and Proposal Management process.

I’m not just talking about the bid manager waltzing up to the person in charge of projects when the bid is all but complete and saying.

“This is the project, this is the budget we’ve allowed and this is the schedule we’ve thrown together, what do you think”

“Oh and by the way I have a review on this with the CEO in 15 minutes, so hurry”

I’m talking about a structured Bid Management process, that forms part of your integrated project management framework that considers the project management aspects of a bid alongside the need to develop a compelling and winning proposal.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the project management diagram that depicts project time versus our ability to influence a project’s outcome, so it only stands to reason that when your bid management or marketing department are responsible for handing over some or all of; a contract, specification, statement of requirements, budget and schedule to the incumbent project team, the likelihood of project success has already largely been set in motion, because if those documents aren’t based on your organization’s actual capability for delivering projects or are poorly developed, you’re in trouble.

Our Scope Management Package is focussed on clearly defining, documenting and controlling project sope, to learn more – CLICK HERE

A solid Bid Management process should contain the following to ensure project success (I’ve left out the marketing aspects on purpose);

  1. A review process of the bid documents to ascertain key scope, cost, schedule and quality requirements, ultimately identifying key risks plus cost and schedule drivers.
  2. A risk assessment to reduce risks pre-contract and to allow residual risks and constraints to be accounted for in the estimate and schedule.
  3. An estimating process based on actual output metrics and based on a project specific Work Breakdown Structure and Scope Definition. It is up to the CEO to decide what the offer price will be, based on a realistic estimate of cost and intel on the likely winning price.
  4. A schedule and project execution plan developed by, or at least with significant input from your PMO.
  5. Vendor Request for Quotations (RFQ) for major purchases based on actual (not generic) contract and project requirements.
  6. Draft contract review highlighting issues, risks and unacceptable contract requirements by your commercial department.
  7. A review and approval process with input from subject matter experts and sign off from relevant Functional Managers or Team Leaders, prior to the pricing discussion with the CEO.

Our Scope Management Package is focussed on clearly defining, documenting and controlling project sope, to learn more – CLICK HERE


    • says

      What is the best direction to take if a client is having trouble getting there head round this? Is it down to me to explain it in better terms or is the client in the wrong? Any advice would be appreciated.

      • says

        Hi Maria

        I think you need to put into simple terms for the client. Explain that during the bid/proposal phase you will set in concrete the budget, schedule, contract and scope of work (there are no more important documents/metrics in a project than these) in this phase.

        To this end, you must apply an adequate level of project management rigor to get these right, or your project will likely fail.The level of effort you have to apply will depend on the project, whether you’ve done similar or whether it’s totally new and everything in between.

        You cannot start a project, start planning and find out these four things are wrong.


  1. says

    Great post at Bid Management is not a Marketing activity!. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info specially the last part :) I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    • says

      Thanks very much for your encouragement. I am working on a couple of new products at the moment, risk management which will be released in a bit over a week and bid and proposal management, probably a month away. If you register on my site you’ll get a notification when they are out, there is plenty more of the same information contained in them. James

  2. says

    James, your right: Bid Management is not a Marketing activity.. it’s a Sales activity. Selling is the act of persuading or influencing a customer to buy; and that’s what a good bid does. Project management is a core skill for those undertaking a bid management role. A good Bid Manager, will always seek to engage a PM during bid development. But here’s the dilemma: most PMs aren’t KPI’d on their participation in bid processes. As a consequence, many PMs will not offer much assistance; i.e. they don’t see it as a “project” until there’s a contract in place.

    You state: “if those documents aren’t based on your organization’s actual capability for delivering projects or are poorly developed, you’re in trouble”.

    If the bid is flawed, the Bid Manager is accountable, not the PM. The PM is not “in trouble”, but certainly may have a few challenges to deal with. That’s part and parcel of being a PM – sweeping up after others :-)


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