How the new BSI PAS 360 bidding standard can lead to better projects
The new PAS 360 code of practice for bid and proposal management is designed to provide guidance on the best practices for creating and managing bids and proposals. Although it doesn’t directly cover the work of project managers in delivery, it does have benefits for project managers, particularly when aligned with their existing standards. Here’s how:
The PAS 360 standard, when aligned with project management standards, ensures a consistent approach to bidding and proposal management. This consistency helps project managers understand the basis on which projects have been won and the commitments made to clients, ultimately leading to more effective project delivery.
A standardised process for bids and proposals facilitates better communication between the bid/proposal team and project managers. This enables project managers to be well-informed about the project requirements and constraints from the beginning, which leads to better decision-making and risk management.
Better resource allocation:
By following the PAS 360 standard, organisations can optimise their resource allocation during the bidding process. Project managers can then benefit from having the right resources in place when the project starts, reducing the risk of delays and cost overruns.
Increased success rate:
Adherence to PAS 360 helps organisations win more projects due to improved bid quality and proposal management. This directly benefits project managers by providing them with more opportunities to work on successful projects and further develop their skills.
Collaboration and knowledge sharing:
The PAS 360 standard encourages collaboration between different departments and stakeholders within an organisation. This enables project managers to leverage the expertise of their colleagues and tap into the knowledge base of the organisation to deliver successful projects.
The PAS 360 standard promotes a culture of continuous improvement in the bidding and proposal management process. Project managers can also apply these principles to their project delivery processes, leading to better outcomes over time.
Scenario 1: Consistency in the approach to bidding and proposal management
An engineering consulting firm has decided to adopt the PAS 360 standard to streamline their bidding and proposal management process. Before implementing the standard, the firm had multiple teams working on bids, each with their unique approach, making it difficult for project managers to understand the commitments made to clients and plan the project delivery accordingly.
By adopting the PAS 360 standard, the firm established a consistent framework for preparing and submitting bids and proposals. This framework included standardised templates, guidelines, and evaluation criteria for all teams involved in the bidding process. As a result, the firm was able to create a more uniform approach to preparing and submitting bids.
Now, when a project manager is assigned to a new project won through the bidding process, they can quickly understand the project’s scope, requirements, and constraints. This is because the information is presented in a standardised format, with clearly defined deliverables and timelines.
With a consistent approach to bidding and proposal management, the project manager can more effectively plan, allocate resources, and manage risks during the project delivery. This consistency leads to improved project outcomes, increased client satisfaction, and better overall performance for the organisation.
Scenario 2: Collaboration and knowledge sharing
A construction company has implemented the PAS 360 standard for bids and proposal management. Prior to adopting the standard, various departments and stakeholders within the company worked in silos, leading to fragmented information and a lack of collaboration during the bidding process.
By adhering to the PAS 360 standard, the company established a more collaborative approach to bidding, involving various departments such as engineering, procurement, finance, and project management. A cross-functional team was created for each bid, ensuring that the necessary expertise from all relevant departments was available during the proposal development process.
For instance, when bidding on a complex infrastructure project, the project manager was included in the proposal team, providing valuable input on project execution, timelines, and potential risks. This allowed the proposal team to create a more comprehensive and realistic proposal, increasing the company’s chances of winning the bid.
When the company was awarded the project, the project manager already had a deep understanding of the project requirements and constraints, as they were involved in the proposal development process. This early involvement allowed the project manager to hit the ground running and ensure a smooth transition from the bidding phase to the project delivery phase.
The collaboration and knowledge sharing promoted by the PAS 360 standard not only improved the quality of the proposals but also enabled project managers to leverage the expertise of their colleagues and the organisation’s knowledge base, ultimately contributing to the successful delivery of projects.
Scenario 3: Continuous improvement in the bidding and proposal management process
Suppose a software development company has recently adopted the PAS 360 standard for its bidding and proposal management process. The company has also established a continuous improvement process where lessons learned from previous bids and projects are systematically captured and shared with the teams.
One project manager, responsible for leading a software development project, encountered issues related to inaccurate time estimates for certain tasks. This led to delays and cost overruns. The project manager, together with the bid team, conducted a thorough review and identified the reasons for the inaccurate estimates. They discovered that the estimation model used for the bid was based on outdated historical data.
Based on this finding, the project manager and bid team worked together to update the estimation model with more recent data and improve the accuracy of time estimates for future projects. This updated model was then incorporated into the company’s proposal management process, as per the PAS 360 standard.
By following the continuous improvement principles of PAS 360, the software development company managed to enhance the quality of its proposals and, consequently, the success rate of its bids. The project manager, who now had access to more accurate time estimates, could better allocate resources, manage schedules, and avoid delays and cost overruns in subsequent projects.
This example demonstrates how the continuous improvement aspect of the PAS 360 standard can positively impact both the bidding process and the project delivery, benefiting the project manager and the organisation as a whole.
In summary, while the PAS 360 standard doesn’t directly cover project management, it has numerous indirect benefits for project managers. By aligning the standard with existing project management practices, organisations can streamline their processes, improve communication, and increase their chances of winning and successfully delivering projects.
Learn more about PAS 360 here.