To have a successful orchestra performance, you need many different ingredients to come together at once: individual musicians playing their parts in concert with their fellow orchestra members; and a conductor, who keeps everything together and shapes the music by leading the performers. Throughout the performance, there will be different soloists whose individual strengths are brought out to shine at the exact moment they are needed.
The same is true for companies focused on growing their business. The successful win of a contract award requires an entire team of individual contributors to work in concert, with a leader at the helm to ensure that everyone and everything stays in sync and is moving forward. At different times in a project, different team members will need to step forward and spotlight their specific skills and strengths.
The choosing of the team that a company puts forward on a capture is the single most important decision in successfully winning an award. A carefully assembled team that can work well together will be the winning formula every time.
A Capture Team (our orchestra) consists of the following members:
- Capture Manager (the conductor): This individual is the project manager. They have one deliverable – the Capture Plan which encompasses every detail associated with the capture. Once the RFP comes out, the plan gets handed off to the Proposal Manager. The Capture Manager will then continue on in support mode, ensuring the continued smooth running of the infrastructure and removing all obstacles from the Proposal team.
- Business Developer/Sales: This individual has the customer knowledge and relationships. They are the Voice of the Customer. They have one deliverable – the Call Plan. This plan has every individual listed along with any and all relevant messages and information that has been gathered and documented. In this plan, an organization chart is included along with the customer’s perceived confidence levels about your company, your competitors and your teammates. The capture team uses this information to analyze and identify ways to develop a program-wide communication plan. This resource gets information to and from the capture team and the customer. They are also the eyes and ears for the capture team on things happening in the outside world that may impact your offerings.
- Marketing: These individuals are responsible for your team’s message to the decision makers and the public at large. They are the creative arm of the team and critical in developing all of the messaging associated with the capture. Their job is to make sure your website, marketing materials, and branding is in sync with what we will be proposing to the customer.
- Program Manager/Leader: The team’s program/project manager. This is the operations lead that will manage the program/project once it is won. They will design the management and staffing approach and ensure that the solution bid is realistic and profitable. In the proposal phase, they lead the development of the management volume.
- Technical Lead: This is your technical subject matter expert who is responsible for understanding the customer’s requirements and how your offerings meet/exceed their needs. The capture team relies on this individual to understand the current and future state at the agency and will ensure your solution meets those needs and are within the customer’s budget. In the proposal phase, they lead the technical volume.
- Proposal Manager: Once the RFP is released, the Proposal Manager is given the capture plan and is responsible for the proposal efforts, ensuring the capture plan is leveraged for all messaging and content to respond to the RFP. Their job is to ensure the proposal is compliant and the themes, value propositions, messaging, and solution meets/exceeds the RFP requirements.
- Research/Competitive Analysis: These individuals research the competitive landscape, pricing, and any pertinent information to aid in the execution of the capture. Data gathered assists in the Black Hat, Solutioning, Customer Analysis, and other phases of the capture. All data gathered is stored in the capture plan.
- Contracts: These individuals execute teaming arrangements, communicate with government contracts personnel, ensure no OCI will occur if the team proceeds with the capture, and are the legal and contractual experts for the team.
- Pricing: this team consists of pricing experts. They will aid the team in Price to Win requirements and strategies, basis of estimate and pricing analysis and at proposal time will lead the pricing volume.
- Recruiting: This individual is responsible for all key personnel and pre-execution staffing needs – including job fairs, job requisitions, incumbent capture research, and hiring needs.
These are the members of the capture team that work (practice) daily to ensure that everyone is in sync and working toward the same goal – winning the agency’s contract or in the case of the orchestra – giving a wonderful performance that the audience will want to return to hear again!