Every proposal kickoff is different, even when you’re working with the same team from proposal to proposal. So, rather than having a hard and fast list of items to discuss for every kickoff, it’s best to draw from a collection of possible items and prepare an agenda for each kickoff right before it happens.
I cover most of these items in each kickoff:
- Teaming: Who will be subconsultants/subcontractors? Who has contact information to reach out to subs? What roles will subs fill? Should names from sub firms be shown on the organizational chart?
- Personnel: What roles are required? Who will fill these roles? Who has their resumes? How much updating do resumes need?
- Past experience: What types of projects should be discussed in this proposal? What projects would show the firm’s experience the best? Are these projects recent enough? Are there good project photos? Do these projects have strong references?
- Proposal schedule: Do we need a pink team review? When should text from writing assignments be returned? Who should be involved in pink/red team reviews? Are there any vacations or other projects to be aware of and schedule around?
- Production: How much time do we need for production? Who can oversee the process? Will the body be printed in-house or elsewhere? Who will print covers and tabs? Do we need time for proposal materials to be delivered?
- Writing assignments: Who will write technical sections? Who will complete forms?
These are just the minimum items that need to be discussed in the majority of kickoff meetings. There are many other topics that would be appropriate to discuss during the kickoff, such as good “go-bys” or samples to pull text from; themes or messages to infuse into the text; questions about the agency or the RFP; SWOT analysis items; or critical project issues that affect how the proposal is pitched.
We already went over the importance of the “NOTES” document in making your proposal kickoff great. You can simply add your kickoff meeting agenda to the document and send it to your team before the meeting so everyone’s on the same page!