Do you want to win more Federal Government business and do it more effectively and efficiently? If so, in this article I will present the value proposition for consolidating your Federal business development operations into just one system such as R3 WinCenter. This one system would bring together the work and information from BD, capture and proposal teams.
I’ll explain the problem with the current situation in most GovCon organizations, describe the desirable future state and benefits, and explain how R3 WinCenter® could get you there.
The Problem in Federal Business Development Operations
Your process and people are most probably fine. Most GovCon organizations in 2016 simply have a technology problem.
The GovCon industry wins Federal business through a phase-based business development process that is well understood. The Shipley Business Development Lifecycle established in the early 2000’s reflects the standard. This approach has been adopted and adapted by APMP, GovCon organizations and business consulting firms. Each item of the process is extensively supported through best practices and training from an army of firms that insure that your people understand the process and the best practices.
The problem for most GovCon organizations in 2016 is that they do not have a single system (technology) that supports their Federal business development process across the full lifecycle. The process either exists only on paper or elements of it are scattered throughout multiple systems, tools, information repositories and workflows. The theory of an integrated process is different from the reality of how work gets done.
In larger organizations with formal systems the core work of capture and proposal is most often separated into at least 2 separate, usually silo’d systems: a CRM database for BD and capture, and, a document management system for proposals. The gaps between these systems and the teams of people that use them cause inefficiencies. The limitations of each of these types of systems to support the process needs cause even more gaps. Therefore, much of the important work is actually done manually using calls, meetings, Excel, email and Powerpoint – all of which are outside of any formal system.
Part of the cause for this gap, is that it is not easy to take the Federal Business Development Lifecycle and operationalize it into a single system that delivers consistent and repeatable results and increases people’s productivity. There are two design challenges to address.
- First, you have to break the lifecycle process down and then make it manageable within a single system (and technology) and automate the work of the participants.
- Second, the lifecycle process only concerns itself with how to win a single opportunity. The real challenge is to have a system that enables you to manage a portfolio of opportunities across the business development lifecycle while also being effective on each one.
To really solve the problem, you need to start with the idea of a single system for the work and information to support your process. Then, you have to translate your process for winning business on a single opportunity into the framework of the system. And, then you have to design it as a comprehensive system to support top down management of the full operation.
Is it worth it?
The Desired State
Let’s look at what an ideal Federal business development operations system should look like.
- You should be able to see where opportunities are across the entire business development lifecycle and work with them based upon their Phase.
- It should incorporate all of the elements of the standard business development lifecycle, show users what is done and needs doing and prescriptively guide them to do the right thing the right way at the right time
- It should bring together the work and information of capture and proposal people to insure that there are no gaps
- It should automate the work – of capture and proposal managers, of team participants, of partners, of executives and of supporting departments across your organization
- It should provide executives with real-time access to information from across the life-cycle and enable them to drill down to get into the details as needed
- It should eliminate the distractions of manual busy work and keep people focused on the work that’s needed to move the opportunity forward and do so with quality
- It must be flexible to accommodate the differences between different types of opportunities and even support changes on an opportunity by opportunity basis.
A system that provides these elements should mean that:
- You are able to make the right investment decisions in your gate reviews
- People know what they need to do at any time and in advance of when they need to do it – no guessing
- You know where each opportunity is at any time and how well you are doing
- Your people are optimally productive and it is convenient for them to do their work
- You are able to adjust your best practices for any given activity and the system will be able to accommodate the change
- You more consistently win business based upon the effectiveness of your process and the quality of the work
The Solution for Federal Business Development Operations
A business solution that meets these objectives is R3 WinCenter®. It is a single system designed to meet the specific needs of Federal business development operations of GovCon organizations. It brings together the work and information for BD, capture and proposal.
- BD Process. It starts by incorporating all of the elements of the industry standard business development lifecycle within a single system that works the way that you logically do the work. It ties everything to Phases of the lifecycle. It tracks Customer Milestones, Gate Reviews, Color Reviews, and Internal Milestones. These elements set the structure for the work.
- Prescriptive Activities. It enables you to specify the standard capture and proposal activities that are part of your process (the 40-96 activities you need to do for each opportunity across the lifecycle) and then track and automate the work them for each opportunity.
- Information and Work Automation. It brings all of the work and information of Capture and Proposal into a single system. And, it automates the work. It enables Capture and Proposal managers to separately drive the work that needs to happen but with visibility into all of the information. It gives the people that need to get work done such as writers and reviewers, SME’s, partners, and cross-organizational participants an easy, collaborative and efficient way to do it.
- Reuse. It makes it convenient for people to find and reuse information, forms, templates and other knowledge assets to drive productivity and quality.
- Real-time Reporting. It enables executives to access real-time information from across the system. It comes with business user configurable types of reports to meet your needs. It eliminates the need and delay of manual data calls and allows the executive to drill down into the information at the level that they need.
- Enterprise System. It is built to enterprise standards. It is a modern, flexible system that enables you to change, enhance and modify it using configuration wizards vs. custom coding. You are not dependent on R3 to innovate or have it your way. It allows you to secure information at the data level and to control what people can do at the application level. It runs on top of Microsoft SharePoint, the industry leading content management system which handles the core data, security and administration. It is not SASS. It can be deployed on premise or in a private cloud.
To learn about WinCenter, visit the WinCenter product home page of the R3 website.