APMP Board of Directors 2020/21

We are delighted to announce that our own APMP ANZ Vice Chair, Felix Becker has been nominated to serve on the APMP Board. The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP®) confirmed that six members would be joining its Board of Directors effective January 1, 2020 and serving through December 31, 2021. 

The six new Board members are:

  • Jody Alves, of the Nor’easters Chapter and IGT in Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Felix Becker, CP APMP of the ANZ Chapter and SAP in Sydney, Australia
  • Alison Coon, CF APMP of the Liberty Chapter and Guardian Life Insurance Company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Patrick Gueth, CF APMP, of the DACH Chapter and DSV Panalpina A/S in Basel, Switzerland
  • Blake Inkster, CP APMP, of the Maple Leaf Chapter and Goodmans LLP in Toronto, Canada
  • Melissa Smith, CPP APMP of the UK Chapter and Harmonic LTD in London, England

“We can call ourselves a truly global association today,” said Ginny Carson CPP APMP, of Life Cycle Engineering and the Carolinas Chapter of the association. “Four of our six new Board members are from outside the United States, and five of our 15 Board members are global. One of our long-term strategies from our 2019 Strategic Plan is to expand internationally, and we are happy that members throughout the world take the opportunity to lead. This global representation on our board of directors will allow APMP to take an international perspective to all of our activities and decisions,” she said.

In all, 55 nominees submitted their ballot to the APMP Board Nominating Committee last month and were asked to provide an essay describing how they would help APMP International and the industry grow in the coming years.  Fifteen finalists were then selected for final voting by the Board of Directors based on the same criteria.  The top six candidates have been invited to fill the open spots on the APMP Board starting on January 1, 2020.  All have agreed to do so.

The six new members will join nine other Board members, including Mike Walsh, CF APMP, of Ernst & Young, who will serve as APMP Chair in 2020 and will lead APMP Board members.

“APMP’s Strategic Plan is in place, and there is a strong desire for APMP to maximize its global reach in the areas of new membership, best practices, conferences, and certification,” said Mr. Walsh.  “We have a clear mandate from our Board, and I look forward to leading APMP’s continued global expansion.”

A Fantastic Year for Certification in Our Region

2019 has seen the largest number of people achieve one of the three certification levels than any other year in our Chapter history. All in all, 60 of our members have achieved some level of certification this year: 46 Foundation, 11 Practitioner and 3 Professional. There are now 183 people with certification in our Chapter. You can see the excellent growth in the chart below. That’s the good news.

But this still means that way more than half of our Chapter members have no certification level at all. So, why not make APMP certification your professional goal in 2020? There will be more opportunities to do that than ever before with both Foundation and Practitioner workshops plus the introduction of a mentoring program. 

Certification Workshops for 2020

More certification workshops are currently being planned for 2020, as follows:

Foundation: This is an intensive all-day workshop that prepares you for the 1 hour Foundation paper based exam, which is taken at the end of the day. You get told your result before you leave. The cost for the course (for APMP members) is $1,000 plus GST. This cost includes the $550 exam fee but excludes the APMP Proposal Certification Study Guide (BOK Edition), which should be purchased in advance online from the APMP bookstore (www.apmp.org).

Practitioner:  This is a new workshop for our Chapter. It is a 3 hour information session about the new 2.5 hour on-line exam. It runs through a practice case study and the types of questions in the exam. Each workshop will be held near the end of the day to minimise impact on work schedules. The cost is yet to be decided but will be a nominal fee only to cover some materials and a venue.

The schedule for Foundation workshops for the first half of 2020 are shown in the table below (subject to minimum numbers). Practitioner workshop dates (and cost) are currently being worked out and will be published in the new year. The certification workshops are all run by Nigel Dennis CPP APMP Fellow.

The dates for the Foundation workshops for the rest of the year are as follows:

Certification Mentoring Program
One of the best ways for professional development and growth is to have a mentor. So, in 2020 the APMP ANZ Chapter will be introducing a formal (but not onerous) mentoring program for all three certification levels.  This will be modelled on successful programs that other Chapters around the world are using.  More information will be published early next year. 

Foundation Success

There have two more Foundation workshops held since our last newsletter. So congratulations to the following people who all passed the exam

Perth (3rd December): Susan Danford, Catherine Salter, Rhona MacLean, Benn Rayner

Brisbane (10th December): Heloise Freeman, Krystal Giacomantonio, Bradley Misso, Aleshia Mudge, Nicola Nixon, Andrew Robinson, Lyndell Thompson, Railene Turner-Rose

Spread Your News on APMP’s WinningtheBusiness.com

APMP offers a variety of ways you can connect with other members to learn, to network and to share common experiences. Now we’re extending this sense of community to WinningtheBusiness.com, the premier industry content source for bid, proposal, business development and capture professionals.

We are collecting your news on:

    • People — Share your promotions, job changes and professional achievements.
    • Products — Give us the rundown on new products and how they can help your APMP peers.
    • Industry news and announcements — Provide information on new initiatives and tell us about your wins. Share with our community your team’s successes.

Here’s what we need:

    • A high-resolution headshot, product photo or company logo
    • Up to 150 words telling us about your professional update or describing the product or news announcement
    • Any relevant hyperlinks or contact information

Submit all materials to APMP Managing Editor Frances Moffett at frances.moffett@apmp.org.

Wellness and Travel

Staying physically and mentally healthy is tricky for us as professionals who work in an industry that loves to clock up frequent flyer points. Overwhelmed by deadlines, disrupted routine and new sights makes it very easy to shelve the exercise, eating well or even the crucial full night’s sleep. Just because you are on the road doesn’t mean you need to compromise your health.

Read our top tips to help you prioritise wellbeing, ensuring you feel as good on the road as you do at home.

Plan ahead

It may seem obvious but the first step is to actually place wellness first. Setting this as a priority at the forefront of your mind allows you to consider how you will incorporate healthy choices before you even step foot on that flight. Look for on-site wellbeing facilities at your hotel, consider what snacks you can bring with you on the flight, locate relaxation options and research gut-healthy dining options ahead of time.

Start the day off right

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and while the buffet is always tempting or the rush to the airport in the morning decreases the priority – healthy choices and portion size are still important regardless of where you are. Eat for vitality. Keep it simple with options like eggs or granola with fruit; both will leave you with lasting energy all morning long. Place an order with room service ahead of time to ensure you still make the early morning rush.

Stay hydrated

The lack of humidity onboard a flight or in a hotel room can be very dehydrating. Coupled with a disrupted routine and we may be inclined to forget to keep the water intake up. Pack a large water bottle with you for travel and ensure you are getting through it all a few times a day. Maintaining proper hydration levels won’t just improve your overall wellbeing – it can help to enhance your alertness and mental acuity as well.

Plan meals and meal times

Sure, sometimes this can be easier said than done. Most of us are probably guilty of wolfing down a questionable takeaway meal at our desks or sodium-overloaded room service meal in the interest of meeting deadlines. Apply your pre-planning and research from earlier as an opportunity to source something gut-friendly to eat, which also provides you with the mental fuel you may require. Use dinner time as an opportunity to get up, stretch and walk to collect the food and get some fresh air; sitting is the new smoking, after all. Consume in moderation. Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean that all form of routine have to be thrown out the window. While you may allow yourself some leniency with food, not every meal needs to be followed by dessert or an extra glass of wine. Set yourself some compromises and know your limits with what you will allow and what you won’t.

Stretch and move

You may not have your normal desk setup, so it is more important than ever to ensure you get up routinely and move around. Give up your seat if commuting, or at least stand for part of the journey. Not only will this reduce your sitting time, it will give you an opportunity to stretch out your leg muscles and relieve some of the pressure on your back caused by sitting for extended periods of time.

Switch off before switching off

Marathon runners don’t simply stop moving the second they hit the finish line. Athletes have wind-down or cool-down time after each session to allow their bodies to restore to a regenerative mode. By the same token, we can’t expect to simply switch off our brains the second we shut the laptop and try to sleep. Allocate wind-down time with no screen interference. Try a few minutes of meditation or breathing exercises to help your system start the wind-down process at the end of the day.

It doesn’t stop when you land

Make sure you wash your face and eyes to relieve your dry skin and eyes after your flight. When you get the chance, try a daytime walk. This will help you adjust to time zone changes and refresh your body. Water therapy can replenish moisture and relax your nervous system – try a sauna room session in the hotel’s fitness centre, a swim, a luxurious bath, or a shower that uses water pressure to unknot flight-tight muscles. Fresh juices loaded with vitamin-rich greens can also boost hydration and immunity, while a pure aromatherapy essence can ease anxiety and sleeplessness.

We don’t compromise on our health (as often) at home, so why do it on the road?

Does your CFO know how much money, time and morale is wasted on your bids and proposals?

Your bids & proposals – On time, On spec (compliant), On budget?
By Jeremy Pollard, Shipley Asia Pacific

‘Pick any two’ is a popular expression in project management. As a project, getting a compliant bid submitted on time suggests your third aspect – proposal budget, e.g. labour and materials – ends up ‘giving’ or being adjusted all the time.

How does this keep happening? According to the BD-Institute, the Number 1 Proposal Management Best Practice – is that the ‘offering and other competition baselines be in place before kicking off the proposal’. And, that the majority of practitioners saw this best practice as “critically important”. So far, so good.

Yet, 30% reported only “seldom, if ever used” or “occasionally used” implementation of this practice.

As highlighted in the 2018 STUDY REPORT – Proposal Best Practices – Importance versus Usage – authored by Howard Nutt, Executive Director of the BD-Institute, and Co-Sponsored by the APMP 21st Annual Southern Proposal Accents Conference, and supported by the BD-CMM Community of Practice: “A perennial challenge for proposal managers is having to write proposals around offerings that are still being developed, as it is challenging to describe what has not been defined”

Think about that for a minute. How much wasted time effort, and yes money, impacts your budget in this sort of unproductive effort?

Time and money wasted on poorly managed solutions, bids and proposals is often a result of poor leadership and budget management.

But it’s worse than just money because it also often speaks to a poor, even toxic culture where the team time is disregarded and abused. e.g. a significant consequence of imperfect proposal process is typically sacrificing of after-hours and weekend personal time by team members.

Exceptions? That said, in some organisations, especially smaller teams, there may be situations where people willingly put in extra effort for the common good, sometimes with time-off-in lieu, for example. And various conditions, not always imperfect or immature process or management – for example, a degree of responsiveness to customer or competitor changes – may require adapting or reworking, with little or no notice. Take care to avoid the exception becoming the rule.

How to fix this? The secret to reducing bid and staff impact costs (and winning more bids)?

Start early. Left shift your #winwork efforts, begin discussing and scoping your solution earlier. Intelligent #pursuit or #capture efforts make better proposal planning possible, and the most effective way to reduce money and time wasted over and over again.

And have your teams get back their personal lives again.

But how can I make a difference? Acknowledging this is not the sole responsibility of bid writers or bid managers, what can you do about a problem where the source or cause is another team or group?

Begin with these three steps.

  1. Do your homework. Collect and collate data with your colleagues about the number and value of the bids and proposals worked on over the last 2/3 years – classified by incumbent Vs competitive. Track the time you’ve been given, and the number of pages of new and boilerplate content involved (more on this in another article) – in particular, where possible, how far from the news of the project and how close to the submission due date was the solution finally locked down and able to be written about properly? Get time with your CFO or finance team and explain what you are doing, and why. Get their support and assistance with sourcing and validating the data and conclusions.
  2. Engage your stakeholders. Meet and talk with the sales and BD people working with the customers and your technical/product/solutions people – hear their side of the story, practice your best reflective listening – ensure they feel listened to and understood. You are not trying to change their mind, their behaviour – yet. Just listen — document what you hear.
  3. Encourage and support more pre-tender activity (Capture). Discover what Capture training your sales and BD colleagues have undertaken, and actually put into practice (often a gap). Ask to understand how they feel the process works. Consider steps or aspects where you and your colleagues could add value. Offer to join opportunity assessment and capture or pursuit milestone meetings. Help out with early Capture draft executive summaries.

Read research, papers and books on best practice business development and Capture. Ask to do the same Capture training as your BD and sales colleagues. Keep talking with your stakeholders – including finance – on the benefits of starting earlier – which also helps with more accurate and consistent Price To Win, and superior revenue forecasts.

Conference Update

Two months ago, 170 proposal professionals from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East came together in Melbourne to celebrate our industry and learn how each of us can make a difference. Delegates were treated to presentations from some exceptional international speakers, as well as some fantastic local content from our Australian tribe.

A highlight was hearing from APMP’s global CEO Rick Harris, who braved a long-haul flight from Washington DC to learn why the ANZ conference has such a good reputation internationally. Thanks to our keynote presentation by Mike Parkinson, we also have a better understanding of the value of a good infographic. Here is our 2019 conference in numbers:

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, join us for the 2020 APMP ANZ conference in Sydney next August 26-27.

Message from the Chair | October 2019

The APMP ANZ chapter is gaining momentum, with a dedicated leadership group and active membership base. We discussed this with APMP Global CEO at the recent APMP ANZ conference in Melbourne, who was as excited as we are about the possibilities for our future direction.

Rick has encouraged the chapter leadership group to focus on creating value for our local membership base and tailor global offerings for the region. We started this process at the beginning of the year and are soon meeting to define plans for 2020. We always welcome feedback and ideas so please get in touch if there are ways we can help your membership work harder for you.The new member campaign was launched this month with a special offer of 15 months for the price of 12, as well as amazing prizes for existing members who refer a friend. Winners will be announced on 31 October. To find out more or get involved please click here.

Thank you again for your attendance and support of the APMP ANZ conference ‘make an impact’. The event was such a success that we plan to do it all again on 26 and 27 August 2020 in Sydney. A lot of creativity, inspiration and perspiration goes into making the conference happen so if you are interested in being behind the scenes next year, please get in touch as part of the committee nomination process.We are currently calling for nominations for the 2020 committee, looking for people who are just as passionate about APMP and our industry as the current leadership group. To nominate, please contact me via chair@apmpanz.org and tell us how you would bring value as part of the APMP ANZ leadership group.

I attended an APMP networking event in Perth this week. It was great to see so many familiar faces and take part in Nigel Dennis’ Foundation Certification quiz (I got most of them right, Nigel!). The event reinforced the fantastic community that has been built in the APMP ANZ chapter and that despite competing with each other at times, we are also able to support each other in our career journeys. If you regularly travel within the region, sign up to hear about upcoming events in each location or keep an eye on the Networking Events section of our website so that you’re not alone when interstate.

Karina Ames