A poorly-written transition plan can be the Achilles' heel of your next proposal, which is why it's worth spending time perfecting yours before you click send.

Why are transition plans so important? In two words: risk mitigation.

Winning proposal transition plans carry weight with evaluators and decision-makers because they are methodical and defined processes – they effectively explain how your firm will do away with risk – and if yours can do that, your chances of winning the bid grow exponentially.

What can you do to make your transition plan strong? Here are 10 elements you should consider including in your proposal transition plan to show prospects that your firm means business.

1. Define your organizational structure

Part of the project planning process includes accounting for human capital, but it’s often the case that not all staff are available on day one due to other commitments, or you may need to hire additional staff – appointments which can only be made when budget is available.

Defining your organizational structure indicates to the prospect how well-staffed your team will be and which key staff will be present to begin the project. It’s important to name a project manager here to give evaluators and decision-makers confidence in your firm’s ability to steer the project from start to finish successfully.

2. Clarify implementation logistics

Successful project implementation relies on several factors, such as a clear scope, a workable timeline and continued planning, which is why you must be clear about what happens on day one, should you win the bid.

Details to address can include what resources are required at the start of the project, which staff will report for duty, and other important prerequisites such as whether access to facilities is required.

3. Identify your project team

Your team is going to be working closely with the client throughout the project, and so providing a list of all team members as well as their roles will go a long way to building customer confidence, as it shows your firm’s ability to dedicate resources to the project.

And if you’re yet to hire additional staff, be sure to list the roles you need to fill. This way, evaluators and decision-makers can see that you are aware of and can accommodate their requirements as soon as you get the go-ahead.

4. Demonstrate how knowledge transfer will work

If you have been successful in displacing the incumbent, developing a sound knowledge transfer plan is crucial to your transition plan. In your knowledge transfer plan, be as thorough as possible to show the client that you ‘know what’s going on.’ You can achieve this by listing information you will require, and which of your team members will need to get involved.

5. Account for resources

Effective planning dictates that you account for resources that will be required to see the project through to completion. Here, you’re doing just that, listing all resources you need throughout the lifetime of the project. Once again, be as thorough as possible.

6. Describe your approach to reaching full capacity

In certain projects, prior events need to occur before the project can commence. If this is the case for you, detail exactly what needs to happen and assign an estimated timeline. For example, your approach may include the creation of samples or prototypes that require approval before you move to a full production phase.

7. Set client involvement expectations

Client involvement is a certainty in all projects and it’s most effective when the right expectations have been set. Detail what you’ll need from your client to start, continue, and complete the project. Don’t forget to include meetings, access to information, or other key personnel who will help you get the job done.

8. Consider possible disruptions

There’s nothing more painful than business disruptions, especially when they could have been accounted for, which is why your transition plan must include a breakdown of possible disruptions along with ways in which you will address them. The key here is to set the right expectations for the client and present solutions.

9. Analyze potential risk

Risk is present in every project and can be minimized by planning effectively. Evaluators and decision-makers are wired to spot and avoid it, so be clear about all the potential risks your firm has identified, and how you will mitigate them. Your ability to address risk will inspire confidence in your firm.

10. Map out your schedule

Schedules are helpful for giving the client an idea of what’s to happen, when it will take place, and the sequence that each task will follow. As you prepare your schedule, ensure that you include all meetings (both client and internal), interviews, events and milestones, and other important elements such as knowledge transfer or the exchange of documents.

Conclusion

Winning proposal transition plans are based on the effective elimination or minimization of risk. Firms that can prove – through a well-documented approach – that they are capable of successfully completing a project, while at the same time decreasing or removing the risk associated with the transition, are better positioned to win more bids.