Blog – Pens Down2021-02-13T08:20:53-05:00

7 Steps for Successful Capture

The Capture process is more than identifying a customer’s requirements and objectives in a Request for Proposal (RFP).  Here are seven steps to help you develop your capture process. 1. Know the Customer Ideally, your capture process starts prior to the release of the RFP. It should begin with understanding the customer’s needs, wants, likes/dislikes, and their procedures and business culture. Also, determine the key decision-makers and their backgrounds. Knowing these details, no matter how small, can provide your team with that simple edge over your competitors. For example, let’s say that a customer releases an RFP to develop a web application. The customer’s Senior VP distrusts software applications that use open-source and JAVA. But the RFP doesn’t say anything about open-source or JAVA; it only states functional requirements and leaves the technical specifications up to the RFP respondents. Knowing the Senior VP’s preference makes the difference between winning or losing

By |April 9th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|0 Comments

I’ll Get In Shape After This Proposal, and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

By |January 7th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

I’ll Get In Shape After This Proposal, and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves The Number 1 Lie The number 1 lie the general population tells themselves at the beginning of each new year: This year I will finally get in shape. I’m going to be a new person starting January 1!  The number 1 lie people like us tell ourselves is: I’ll get in shape as soon as this proposal is over! Staying healthy during

Welcome to Our Weekly blog, Pens Down!

By |December 31st, 2020|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

New Year, New Universe - Working and Living in a Distanced World Maybe not everyone, but I’d say a good majority of us would agree that 2020 was just not the best year. There are silver linings to find for sure, such as our advanced 21st century technology that saved the day and let a huge swath of the population keep working while also safely quarantined. Not just our profession, but the national workforce was

Ten Tips for Optimizing Virtual Proposal Reviews

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine, Featured Article|

Working from home and social distancing present obvious obstacles to conducting in-person proposal reviews during the ongoing public health crisis. While conducting virtual proposal reviews was a common practice prior to the pandemic, today’s remote workplace introduces challenges that proposal managers must address to conduct effective reviews. Whether you’re conducting virtual proposal reviews for the first time or you’re planning your initial review in the “new normal” virtual workplace, this article provides 10 tips to

From the Desk of the Vice President

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine, From the Desk of the Vice President|

On Friday March 13th, I grabbed my bag and walked out of my Alexandria, VA office. I haven't been back since, and if we're being honest, I don't know if I ever want to. That's not to say that I don't want to keep working--not at all. In the time I've been working from home, I think I've been more productive than I have in years. In between developing six proposals over two months and

FREE Coronavirus Response Icons

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: Ask the Graphics Guru, eZine|

I’m doing something different this time (as is everyone in the world). Rather than write my standard article, I’m sharing some of my PowerPoint coronavirus response and healthcare icons and symbols. My hope is twofold: Empower people like you to educate others about pandemic response best practices. These royalty free images can be used in any way you choose. Use them in proposals, infographics, presentations, learning materials, and other media. You can also share this

Why Recent Graduates are the Perfect Proposal Writers

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine, From the Classroom|

Companies hiring proposal writers and coordinators should be scouring LinkedIn for recent graduates and jumping for joy when they apply. Why? Because college prepares all students, regardless of their major, to be good proposal writers. But in spite of this preparation, so many college graduates feel they’re not qualified for even entry-level jobs thanks to those six little words on the entry-level job ad: “three to five years of experience.” Hiring managers should consider counting

Three Things I’ve Learned from the Virtual World

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine, Regular Article|

The world may be an ever-changing place, but never has it been quite so true in our generation. Faced with social distancing and sheltering-in-place, our society is facing new challenges on how to cope with a virtual world, and the challenges of remote proposal writing can be difficult to overcome. Over the last several weeks, I’ve learned many strategies to not only succeed in writing proposals, but to excel. Writing is a Social Process Locked

Now is the Time to Interview

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine|

Interviewing is always a bit uncomfortable, and if you’re lucky to have a job, interviewing is probably the last thing on your mind; but is this really the best strategy? The five reasons below highlight why right now is the best time for you to interview -- whether or not you decide to take a new role is up to you. (Open Positions: Continue Good Habits. No matter how happy you are at your

This Normal is Not New – and What That Means for CEOs

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine|

For most of us, COVID19 has undoubtedly rocked our worlds, impacting not only our work, but also everything else in our lives. Going forward, I believe that this situation will irrevocably shift the way we work. That view likely feeds the idea that we’re living in a “new normal”. Yet, this normal is not really new. Alan Weiss (award-winning author of Million Dollar Consulting® and renowned speaker and consultant) takes that even farther. In a

Four Ways to Survive Remote Proposal Management

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine, Regular Article|

The spread and concern over COVID-19 has dramatically altered every aspect of our lives. From the global cancellation of major sporting events to runs on meat and paper goods at the supermarket, there is no part of our daily lives that has been untouched by this pandemic. For many companies, the requirement for social distancing has introduced or increased the need for telework and remote collaboration across the organization. Even as we see restrictions loosen

Time Management Tips in our New Virtual World

By |June 19th, 2020|Categories: eZine, Regular Article|

 This morning I was on a video conference where we were discussing a training session Time Management from the prior week. There were some very enlightening comments. The theme was not just about keeping focused on tasks but keeping a focus on ALL things important. We are all juggling things, kids, teaching, parenting, other family members, close relationships, and how they are dealing with life, clients, candidates; the list goes on and on. What I

Past eZine Issues, prior to June 2018, are available in the Body of Knowledge as PDFs.  Temporarily, the files are here.

Special Thanks To . . .

Executive Summary e-Zine Chair

Candy Jenkins, CP APMP, PMP


Rebecca Link,
APMP-NCA President

General Dynamics Information Technology

Steve Skeldon,
APMP-NCA Vice President


Technical Support

Neal Levene, CPP APMP, PMP,
APMP-NCA Technology Chair

Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.


P.O. Box 711
Arlington, VA 22216-0711

A Publication of the Association of
Proposal Management Professionals
National Capital Area Chapter

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The mission of the APMP-NCA chapter is to support our members in advancing their professional goals and increasing their capabilities to win business.

The APMP NCA Chapter maximizes member value by:

  • Creating an environment and opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, professionalism and application of best practices,
  • Partnering with industry, academia and government to unleash the power of capture and proposal management,
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  • Disseminating information regarding developments in the profession, and
  • Attracting, developing and retaining leadership to ensure the future of the organization.

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