How long have you been a proposal manager/specialist/ writer?
Started as document/proposal manager 1998, moved up through the ranks to Complex Bid Manager at present.
How did you become involved with proposals?
Started at IBM as a contract Administrative Assistant in 1998. Six weeks later, they opened a Proposal Center in the Atlanta office and I moved over to that role.
Do you work in a "corporate office" or "home office" environment?
What do you like best about working in your current environment?
I get more done in a workday because I don't have to take time in traffic getting to an office. I also like the peacefulness of home.
What do you like least about working in your current environment?
I sometimes miss the interaction with fellow IBMers. Working from home also makes it harder to end the workday because there's no hard stop to make a drive home.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Keeping proposal teams on track with timelines, due to their very busy schedules and multiple commitments.
What shortcuts or helpful best practices about working with proposal teams could you share?
Timelines are critical. I work with the team up front to create a logical timeline that will assure we meet internal and external requirements without so much last-minute work. We use a collaboration tool for each deal. RFx documents, collateral, forms, boilerplate and proposal drafts are all in one place. This alleviates so much email, which can slow down a proposal process as the team tries to find what they need in their crowded inbox.
Why/when did you join APMP?
A fellow IBM Bid Manager attended the Chicago conference and was very impressed by your organization. After talking to him and reading more about APMP, I wanted to become part of a group that does what I do in my job every day, and has the same aspirations as me.
What is your method for successfully working with your proposal teams?
I try to find the team members on each deal that have the same commitment and motivation to creating a quality proposal as I do, then I collaborate as much as possible with those individuals to keep the rest of the team moving forward.
Which type of proposals do you do most? Commercial, government or other?
I'm a U.S. Federal Bid Manager, but have worked on commercial, State and Local government proposals during my career.