At Arizona State University, the proposal manager is responsible for the preparation of the proposal (format, font, page length), compliance with the announcement requirements, all scheduled reviews of the content, adherence to the principal investigator’s vision, assignment of tasks (writing, editing, layout, and others as needed) and the proposal’s scheduled completion. They are a facilitator of information and coordinator of events and people for a successful proposal. The proposal manager works within a team: working closely with the research administrator and project manager.
The Association for Proposal Management Professionals (APMP.org) is the professional association for proposal managers. APMP has over 4,000 members, with several chapters globally. Along with an annual national conference, chapters hold regular events throughout the year for professional development and networking. The Southern California APMP chapter held their annual training day on October 26, 2012. The event featured leaders in the field of proposal management:
- B.J. Lownie of Strategic Proposals pushed attendees to become proposal champions.
- Stan Balfour of Shipley Associates emphasized capture management as an integral part of success rates.
- Jim Franklin described mind mapping and integrating the approach with proposal development.
- Mike Parkinson of 24 Hour Company provided highlights from his two day training on proposal graphics.
- Amy McGeady of Privia outlined how successful proposal managers and proposal leaders share traits.
Proposal management is a relatively “new” professional field, but it is filled with people who have been working for decades on bids, proposals, and contracts. The professional organization provides a framework for best practice so that this knowledge can be harness, distributed, and used by everyone involved in developing proposals.