Book Review: The Bid Manager’s Handbook

Bidding for a business is extremely complex, challenging and time consuming task. It has to be done in a highly competitive, time-boxed and fixed budget  environment. Unless the bidding team dynamics, the bidding process and the proposal contents are managed in a holistic and  systematic manner, the chances of procuring the business will be rather dim. This book  provides the know-how to increase the probability of winning a bid. It is very relevant to medium and large bids which involves several  job functions, departments and even different companies.

As per the author David Nickson,  the primary goal of this book is to enable the reader to make best use of the time available and work effectively to produce a high-quality bid with the smallest amount of hassle.

The book is organized into three main parts

1. Bid Management – This covers all the different tasks and activities which a Bid Manager has to perform or has to be accountable for.  The chapters in this part deal with-  Bid Manager’s roles and responsibilities and her interfaces with other roles in the organization; methods and approaches for running the bids in a quick and adaptable manner; risk management; administration and logistics and bid planning.

2. Writing and Editorial – Editorial, layout design and wordsmithing skills needed for anyone who is involved in writing the proposals are discussed in this part. This will enable the reader to get a good overall idea of what goes into making a well written bid that is easy to read and understand.

3. Personal Skills – This part provides an overview of  “soft” skills like communication, team building, negotiation and selling which a Bid Manager should possess or should acquire through training and practice over a period of time.

Each chapter in this book has hints, tips, checklists and real life case studies to illustrate the points made in the chapter.

The book is well written and deals effectively with all the three magic ingredients of a successful Bid initiative – People, Practices and Content. It enables the reader to make sure they know – what needs to be done, how to present the information effectively to the prospective client and how to identify the skills needed for bidding.

A must read for anyone who has to write, manage or contribute to a bid for a new or repeat business !

Book Details: Author – David Nickson ; Hardcover  – 208 pages; Published – 2003; Publisher – Gower Publishing Limited.

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