When thinking about managing processes, I’ll admit I get a little excited. Process is my middle name! And, MY processes are my favorite. I’ve got a process for just about everything and boy do I hate it when they change! (Sound familiar?)

As Proposal Managers, this is our job. To manage a process and the people that fall within it. Now, industry has defined what the “best practices” are for this process and if you are classically trained, you probably follow The Shipley Method. While The Shipley Method is great, there is really nothing revolutionary about it, and boiled down, it is just an iterative process where instead of saying Review #1, Review #2, etc. etc., we have given them cute color names like Pink and Gold. An iteration is also a term used in Agile development and refers to a single development cycle. Again, nothing fancy.

So, what about managing processes can we talk about? I reflected on last quarters’ theme which was “Effecting Change” and how I concluded that if you aren’t a part of the changes, you could be left behind! The same can be said for processes. If you are not engaged or choose to not follow along, you will inevitably become excluded or worse yet, become an obstacle. The ability to remain fluid and change with a process is fundamental. You may get an extension on a proposal and have to re-do your calendar. You may bring on another teammate and have to integrate a new writer. You might have a couple people on your team who habitually miss deadlines. Or, you may have had a draft RFP and completed pre-proposal content and already be at 50% by the time the prop drops. All of these things can either impede or enhance process.

The people involved are really the key to successful process management. So essentially, it becomes PEOPLE management! Without buy-in from your team and everyone working in a collaborative environment, the process breaks down and your final product is jeopardized. By managing your people well, giving them hard, realistic deadlines, clear expectations, and the tools to succeed, you are ensuring that your process will run as smoothly as possible and have the flexibility to step in and support in other areas, as needed.

Processes are key in all aspects of life. You may not even recognize all of the little processes you have, like how you load the dishwasher, how you fold clothes, the way you wash your hands, or how you plan when going on a vacation. Since becoming a mother, I have learned even more that effectively involving people in your processes makes your life easier, and allowing for flexibility and not being rigid keeps your stress low and fosters greater participation from those around you.

What are some ways you drive process and how do you navigate the inevitable changes? Comment on our Facebook page and share your tips!

Yours in Success,

Rebecca Link

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