Proposal Manager CA, Inc. (CA Technologies)
How long have you been a proposal manager/specialist/ writer?
I have been a proposal manager for 1 year and 10 months.
How did you become involved with proposals?
I was working in Sales Operations in a position that really didn’t fit well with my talents. It just happened that our proposal team needed help and I was moved to that team in August 2009 and the rest as they say is history.
Do you work in a "corporate office" or "home office" environment?
I work in both a “corporate office” and “home office” environment. Three (3) days a week I come into the Atlanta CA office, and the other two (2) days I work from home.
What do you like best about working in your current environment?
I like the flexibility CA gives to its employees, to either work from home or come into the office for their jobs. It really helps on travel costs, traffic headaches, etc. that are part of a daily commute, while still being connected to the office staff if needed.
What do you like least about working in your current environment?
I am very happy with my current work environment, no complaints.
What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I think the most challenging part of being a proposal manager is having the team notify you when things are not proceeding according to plan. Often times I have found that team members will not communicate until it is almost too late to correct a problem, issue, etc. and complete the RFx by the customer’s deadline. To address this, I try to always keep in contact with team members for a project to be alerted of potential problems as soon as reasonable possible.
What shortcuts or helpful best practices about working with proposal teams could you share?
Why/when did you join APMP?
I just joined the APMP on 6/01/2011.
What is your method for successfully working with your proposal teams?
My method for successfully working with proposal team is to start by reviewing the original RFx document from the customer and devise a plan of attack with appropriate team members. A project timeline is a key part of this strategy, as it keeps everyone on the team on the same page. Last, is to always keep the lines of communication open with team members, if in doubt, more communication is better than less. Do not be afraid of picking up the phone and calling a team member, I have found that often it works much better than just sending another email. Of course very few projects follow any timeline exactly, and issues will arise; which is why the communication aspect is vitally important to addressing any obstacles that may block the path to the goal. Following these principles has worked for me in my projects, and I have enjoyed working with the various teams on the RFx projects.
Which type of proposals do you do most? Commercial, government or other?
Almost all of my proposals to date have been Commercial.