Fidelity Information Services (FIS)
How long have you been a proposal manager/specialist/ writer?
I have been a proposal manager for over 18 years.
How did you become involved with proposals?
After having children in the early 80’s, I needed to get back into the work force. A friend who worked for Unisys suggested I apply for a data entry position working with a tool called Zyvision. Over the years I advanced in the group to become a proposal manager. At one point in the mid 90s, our proposal group anticipated being relocated to Washington, DC, however the group was laid off, thus my move to HP in 1996.
Do you work in a "corporate office" or "home office" environment?
For the majority of my proposal management career, I have worked in a corporate office environment. Following management direction, I was fortunate to begin working out of my home office seven years ago, thus eliminating a 2.5 hour round-trip commute to our local HP Alpharetta office.
What do you like best about working in your current environment?
Our proposal center's operating model has been to not use war rooms, but to work remotely with our teams. I really enjoy working from my home office and effectively using various collaborative tools such as SharePoint, Virtual Room, and teleconferencing with my teams.
What do you like least about working in your current environment?
Not being able to work face to face with my teams and be able to read their facial expressions can be hard sometimes.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I find it very challenging when team members don’t follow through with their assignments in the identified team timetable (even after they agreed to their commitment), causing me to scramble or sometimes work very late hours to get my activities completed. Thank goodness, that doesn’t happen a lot.
What shortcuts or helpful best practices about working with proposal teams could you share?
Why/when did you join APMP?
I joined APMP in 2004 and took on the role as Membership Chair in 2009 for our local chapter.
What is your method for successfully working with your proposal teams?
Initially, I make sure to have an in depth 1:1 call with the account lead to discuss the opportunity before the kicking off call with the entire team. I then make sure to setup a SharePoint site, if needed, create the templates and responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) with assigned specific tasks and communicate the proposal process right up front to the team, thereby setting early expectations. I then aggressively support and manage the document process to its completion.
Which type of proposals do you do most? Commercial, government or other?
Predominately commercial bids for both Services-led and Product-led opportunities.