We had an interesting team conversation the other day about how we’re all using lockdown to organize and declutter at home. Spring is in the air after all, so we’re all feeling motivated to use the extra time on our hands to tidy up and boost our sense of accomplishment. 

The same can be said at work. Many companies and teams around the world are using this downtime to do things like improve their websites, improve and automate their processes , etc.

What should Bid and Proposal teams be doing? We think they should use this time to declutter and organize their content . And who better to get advice from, than Marie Kondo,  the queen of organization.

What would Marie Kondo say?

Okay, we get that there are probably very few pieces of proposal content that will “spark joy” for you, but we still like some of Kondo’s advice. 

Before you get started, it’s important to think about your goal. Why are you spring cleaning your content? To make it easier to find and use? To accelerate your proposal process? To avoid version control problems? 

As you go through the process, it’s also a good idea to make a list (or invite your team to make a list) of things they need. This can become a working list and form part two of your proposal content refresh project.

 

Okay, now let’s get started. According to Kondo, there are three main steps to follow: declutter, organize and store, maintain.

 

  1. Declutter out of date content

    Of course, it makes perfect sense to start by removing all of the content that is not used before trying to organize what’s left. You don’t need to delete it, simply create an archive folder to store it all in, so that you can see what’s left.

    Kondo recommends decluttering by category rather than location. So for example, you might have proposal content stored in several locations. It’s better to put it all together so that you can identify duplicates, outdated versions, etc.

    Tip: If someone else owns the content - it’s a good idea to check with them first!

  2. Organize and store your documents in a logical manner

    Now that you have whittled your content down, you can begin to organize it. The goal here is to help people find it quickly and easy.

    This is where file naming conventions, document meta tags, and categorization become important, especially if your proposal management system allows users to filter and search content.

    It’s all about ensuring that your library is logical and easy to access.

    Tip: Avoid complicated folder structures that make it difficult to search for content.

  3. Maintain order when added new content

    Simple in theory but difficult to maintain when things get busy! Ensure your team is disciplined about immediately saving (and properly naming) final content and finished proposals.

    Archive old versions at the same time and communicate the update to the team, so that everyone is aware of what’s new.

    Tip: Be strict about storage and maintenance. Everyone should save and access files from the same place, with zero tolerance for versions stored on desktops, etc.

What are your tips? 

If you have any advice, please do share it with the Qorus community by posting it to our LinkedIn page. 

You can learn more about the Qorus proposal management platform here.