The Maple Leaf Chapter would like to congratulate the winner of our 2015/2016 Writing Contest, Natasha Tucker, with her submission “A Grave Situation”. As the author of the winning entry, Natasha will receive paid registration to the 2016 APMP Bid and Proposal Conference.
Natahsa’s winning entry is below.
A Grave Situation
When I first started in proposals, I worked for a large engineering company and was told this cautionary tale by a colleague.
Winnex had recently been successful on a bid to build a pipeline for Giant Energy. This was due in part to a strong team led by an experienced project manager called Bill. This work had brought in a good profit, enabling Winnex to expand and in turn create more jobs. Bill had worked well with the client, the client’s team and delivered the project on time and on budget - much to the delight of Peter, Winnex’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
One year later Winnex was asked to bid again on more work from Giant Energy. Peter was very confident that his company would win this work again due to the fact that he had already won it the first time, provided a service that the client was happy with and of course had Bill on the team.
Peter told the Proposals Group to use the same team as last time and was adamant that Bill must be in the proposal no matter what. As instructed, the proposal group reviewed the last submission, got the new documents together, decided the win themes and worked on resumes. No-one was too worried when Bill could not be contacted as they assumed he was already on a project. Although the question was never officially asked, the proposal team were confident that Peter would have already discussed the opportunity with Bill. So the proposal was duly written and submitted on time.
Two weeks later, Peter had heard nothing about the submission so called to confirm the proposal was being considered. He was then very surprised to be told that the proposal was non-compliant. After discussing this further and with much regret he could do no more than thank Giant Energy for their time.
The next day Peter called a meeting to discuss the reason for the non-compliance. The proposal team could not understand it as they had done everything asked of them and thought that the reason for the non-compliance was a mistake.
However, it was not. It turned out that 3 months previously, Bill had died suddenly of a heart attack. Unknowingly, Peter and the proposal team had proposed a dead man to do the work making their proposal non-compliant on the grounds that the named resource had to be available for the duration of the project.
To this day I do not know whether this story is true or not but it has served a purpose and I always double check people are alive and well before including them in any bid.
*Names have been changes to protect the innocent (or dead).