What Is a Proposal Content Plan?
The proposal content plan is a framework used for planning and developing a compliant, compelling response. Developed from a high-level perspective, the content plan serves as the skeleton of the proposal. It communicates what content will be present in the final work, the use and placement of graphics and the planned strategy.
By providing a high-level perspective of the finished proposal, the content plan enables planners to easily add, delete and rearrange items before time is spent writing. The result is improved quality, reduced waste and faster proposal production.
Generally, the content plan is an annotated proposal outline, in one format or another. Once the proposal outline is developed, the content planner annotates it with all the information needed to direct proposal writing. Typically, annotations concern reminders to address Request for Proposal (RFP) requirements, reminders to optimize for the evaluation criteria, notices to include proof points, discriminators, value propositions, win themes and so forth.
Who Completes the Proposal Content Plan?
The proposal content plan is owned by the proposal manager; however, it’s completed with the input of others on the proposal and capture teams. For example, input is required from the solution architect(s), those responsible for developing the win strategy and those having customer and competitor intelligence.
What Are the Inputs?
The solicitation is the first input to the proposal content plan. After proposal requirements are captured, the compliant outline or proposal layout is developed. Additional inputs are needed to annotate the outline. Those inputs include worksheets used for planning and developing win theme(s), pricing, competitor and customer intelligence, the proposed solution, graphics, discriminators, value propositions, potential re-use materials, past performance records, teaming arrangements, information regarding the management approach, and information concerning proof points.
How Is the Proposal Content Plan Used?
The proposal content plan has multiple uses. Foremost, it’s used to plan all of the content that appears in the finished proposal. It offers a way for numerous people to review and influence the direction of the proposal. The content plan is also used to guide proposal writers. Where the work of writing is planned, writers are better able to understand the nature of the content required. Lastly, the content plan is a useful quality assurance tool. Compared it to each proposal draft to ensure inclusion of everything that should be present.
Need Additional Support?
Need more than a proposal content plan? Don’t hesitate to contact us. Our proposal specialists average over 20 years of experience producing DoD, government and commercial responses. We can assume the role of proposal management or provide just the amount support your team needs.