Project Management

The proposal - La proposition

From the Benefits with Risk Blog
Risks are all over your project, from the birth of the idea to completion. Maximize benefits with true risk management of your project. In this blog, I bring ideas, some basic level of knowledge on key project subjects. I try to have everything identical in English and French.

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Following the decision to go ahead of the Go / NoGo. The proposal requires a serious analysis of the risks and opportunities for the company to complete the project and the expected benefits.

A deeper analysis concerns the customer, several questions imply it. One of the first should validate our past experience with this client or lack of experience in each case the associated risks. If we have already completed projects for this client, do we have a record of these projects and information about payment deadlines, change requests? Information that will be used during the preparation of the proposal. Your organization potentially has a registry documenting some key criteria for your customers. Other information may exist from credit agencies.

A call for tenders is never perfect. You may be able to ask for clarifications, which is usually the case. Eventually, you will have to make some assumptions to prepare your response to the tender. Assumptions will create risks, start documenting them.

It will be necessary to produce an estimate of the time of completion and all the associated costs. Depending on the size of the project, teams from several company groups may be involved. Each of the sub-units will be tempted to keep a certain margin, the maturity of your organization can influence this practice. You do not want to have hidden safety margins in each level of your proposal without knowing it. You may not be competitive anymore.

Depending on the type of project, you will have the equipment and/or subcontractors to be used. They will make their proposals. This evaluation must be done in parallel with yours, you do not want to have as sole information that of your subcontractors or suppliers.

Depending on the nature of your project, you will be involved with the seasons. This is important information, make sure that it is well indicated in your proposal. Some portions that can't or should be done during a frozen period, for example. Be clear. 

(To be continued)


Suite à la décision d’aller de l’avant du Go/NoGo. La proposition requiert une analyse sérieuse des risques et des opportunités pour l’entreprise de réaliser le projet et des bénéfices prévus.

Une analyse plus approfondie concerne le client, plusieurs questions l’impliquent. Une des premières, devrait valider notre expérience passée avec ce client ou l’absence d’expérience dans chacun des cas les risques associés. Si nous avons déjà réalisé des projets pour ce client, possédons-nous un registre de ces projets et des informations concernant les délais de paiement, les demandes de changement ? Des informations qui nous serviront lors de la préparation de la proposition. Votre organisation dispose potentiellement un registre documentant certains critères clefs de vos clients. D’autres informations existent peut-être par des agences de crédit.

Un appel d’offres n’est jamais parfait. Vous pouvez peut-être demander des clarifications, c’est généralement le cas. Éventuellement, vous aurez à faire certaines hypothèses, pour bien préparer votre réponse à l’appel d’offres. Les hypothèses créeront des risques, commencez à les documenter.

Il faudra produire une estimation du temps de réalisation et de l’ensemble des coûts associés. Selon l’envergure du projet, des équipes de plusieurs groupes de l’entreprise pourraient être impliquées. Chacune des sous-unités sera tentée de se garder une certaine marge, la maturité de votre organisation peut influencer cette pratique. Vous ne souhaitez pas avoir des marges de sécurité cachées dans chacun des niveaux de votre proposition sans le savoir. Vous risquez de ne plus être compétitif.

Selon le type de projet, vous aurez du matériel et/ou des sous-traitants qui seront utilisés. Ils vous feront leurs propositions. Cette évaluation doit être faite en parallèle avec la vôtre, vous ne voulez pas avoir comme seule information celle de vos sous-traitants ou fournisseurs.

Selon la nature de votre projet, vous serez impliqué par les saisons. C’est une information importante, assurez-vous que c’est bien indiqué dans votre proposition. Certaines portions qui ne peuvent pas ou doivent être effectuées en période de gel, par exemple. Soyez clair.

(À suivre)

Posted on: August 07, 2019 07:30 AM | Permalink

Comments (3)

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Thanks Vincent. This is very relevant.
One of the key difficulty is to manage 2 objectives:
1- Create the best "winnable" proposal for your Client.
2- When the project is awarded make sure you can deliver it successfully

It happens some stakeholders can allow the "pre-award" project team to agree very fast on commitments that will insure to gain the project (i.e. very short deadlines or leave some open-points for later). Thus the Objective 1 is met and the "pré-award" team can be released. But then a lot of complexity is pushed to the "delivery" team and Objective 2 will be achieved by managing a lot of change and the expected Customer Satisfaction.

In an ideal world both objectives should be managed by a coherent team that follow the project from the tender to the sign-off. But I am affraid this is not yet the case in all project organizations.

Has someone some experiences to share?

Very true. objective 2 is the most difficult to reach.

Pre-award is interesting can get the project started rapidly, often the problems start there since there are too many loss-ends.

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