Crafting the Questions You Ask of the Subject Matter Writers

In a previous newsletter, we discussed the development of questions for the subject matter writers as part of the overall proposal outlining process. The objective of this technique is to make the subject matter people think they are not writing but instead merely answering questions in an effort to get the dreaded proposal manger off their back.

Generally, subject matter people do not think in terms of what the customer wants to hear. They typically tend to provide subject knowledge as opposed to things like:

  1. Unique aspects of the customer's requirement
  2. Innovative solutions
  3. Cost and benefits
  4. Risk reduction
  5. Time constraints and scheduling issues
  6. Consequences of substandard performance

Developing the proper questions for the subject matter experts is easier said than done. The process usually requires involving a proposal manager who possesses both proposal-writing experience and creativity.

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