So a major complex tender has come in and you know where to start, you have done it before, however this time, you want to be in control, complete it with time to spare, and make an exemplary submission. Here are a few tips on how to go about achieving that:
Get organised from the start
That means filing documents correctly, implementing a response plan and liaising with key stakeholders within the business. It’s important to set up a system of drafts, for example, Draft 1, 2 and 3 or alternatively Draft (date) (time) so that you can keep track of which document is the latest version and so you can save previous versions of the document independently in case of any technical issues. Furthermore, you will more than likely start to accumulate documentation for appendices. These need to be organised in a folder and clearly labeled to correspond with the draft document, to ensure that they remain organised throughout the process.
For major complex tenders it’s also necessary to develop a project management tool that enables you to keep track of the status of all the questions. You will need to engage subject matter experts on different aspects and questions of the tender. It is therefore important to have a tool in place that tracks the status of each question. One of the easiest ways to do this is using Microsoft Excel and a colour coding system – The Tender Team have a template for this which we are happy to share.
Finally you need to identify the key stakeholders within and outside the business that you will need input from. Although sending emails is necessary, it’s always a good idea to call and have a chat, or drop by and see them in person. Let me know the deadline, and the reason for the deadline, as well as why their input is important and how it will improve the tender.
Focus on project management, not just writing
It’s easy to fall into the trap when drafting a major complex tender of drafting for a good four or five days straight. The problem with that is you will not have time to follow up internal stakeholders and stay organised. You will need to spend approximately 20% of your time staying organised and making sure that deadlines are being met. This often means slower progress in terms of drafting the tender, but it’s worth it. With a bit of critical path analysis and some robust project management techniques, you might find yourself drafting some last-minute content for a simple question three or four days before the tender is due, but you won’t find yourself waiting on six or seven people for content and information in order for you to refine it.
Stay calm when you get into the thick of it – and always keep your team in the loop
When everything is ticking along nicely and you are making steady process, it’s a great idea to bring someone in your team along for the ride. That’s because you will need them. Not just in case you are hit by a bus, but when the process becomes more intense you will need them to have some idea of the tender and the process. The important point is to stay calm. If you are stressed or impatient under pressure, not only is it easier to make mistakes, you will convey that stress to other members of your team and internal stakeholders. This generally doesn’t lead to an exemplary result. You can always call us here at the tender team on 0410 448 770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to assist with your major complex tender; if you follow the above tips and dedicated the time to project manage the tender properly then you will be on the right track.
The Tender Team provides bid management and tender management assistance across Australia. Based in Sydney we have extensive experience drafting a range of tenders to the government and the private sector. Our experience includes drafting tenders in the professional services, mining and IT industries. We provide prompt, efficient and quality service and are able to assist in writing and managing your next major complex tender.