Partnering with other organisations through joint ventures, consortia or corporate partnerships can improve your chances of winning a bid. But, let’s be real, working in a bid partnership creates some significant challenges too.
Teams need to be aligned for the partnership to be successful, and that’s not always an easy feat. It’s not just about how people behave, but also about understanding each other’s goals, expectations, and communication styles, and building trust between individuals so the team can thrive.
One of the biggest regrets organisations have after a bid is not spending enough time aligning teams from the outset. Teams thrive on a clear understanding of roles, responsibilities and goals.
Importantly, by creating alignment from day one, you also improve the output of your team and increase your chances of a successful tender. Ultimately though, you create a team that can effectively bring the project to fruition, because the need for a cohesive team doesn’t end at the submission of your bid.
Qualities of a winning bid team
Shared values are at the heart of any successful partnership.
Building trust is a critical component of team alignment.
You can’t achieve a goal without having set it first.
Collaboration is key to aligning teams and fostering a supportive working environment.
By being adaptable, teams are also able to objectively review and tweak their approach as needed
Shared values are at the heart of any successful partnership. When you align teams around a common set of values, they are more likely to work together effectively and make decisions that are in line with the overall goals of the project.
By bringing everyone into alignment, it also builds trust. When the team feels connected and confident, the team will transform from a good team to a great one. The team will work efficiently to achieve positive outcomes through shared goals, driving productivity.
When teams trust each other, they are more likely to be open and honest in their communication, which in turn leads to more effective collaboration.
Trust also helps to build a sense of camaraderie and a shared sense of responsibility, which is essential when working on a high-pressure project like a bid. Beyond the tender process, trust will be imperative to achieving your project deliverables as each partner needs to be able to rely on the other to achieve their portion of the project.
You can’t achieve a goal without having set it first, so it is integral that goal setting forms a part of your teaming strategy. By clearly defining shared goals you bring your team together in the pursuit of a common objective. When done effectively, this has the potential to light a fire within your team and drive focus and determination.
It’s important that everyone involved in the partnership understands the overall goals, as well as their own individual goals, and that they are regularly reviewed and adjusted as necessary. This process should begin with the bid and carry on throughout the project.
Collaboration is key to aligning teams and fostering a supportive working environment. When teams are effectively aligned and working together cohesively, they pool their resources, share ideas, and leverage each other’s strengths to achieve the best possible outcome.
Being able to lean on each other when the bidding gets tough should never be underestimated. The most intense parts of a bid – gruelling all-nighters and the occasional sprint to the finish – can become exhilarating memories, rather than nightmare experiences, with a collaborative team around you.
Adaptability is a critical component of team alignment. It is the nature of bids that addendums and changes will inevitably occur. An adaptable and aligned team will smoothly adjust to changing circumstances and make decisions that are based on their existing shared goals to ensure continuity of project delivery and outcomes.
By being adaptable, teams are also able to objectively review and tweak their approach as needed. Having the confidence that change management is achievable ensures that they stay focused on their goals and remain motivated, no matter what the bid (and the project thereafter) throws at them.
8 tips for bid team alignment
1. Establish open lines of communication
Make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to communication styles and channels. Having open and clear lines of communication will help prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication, making it easier to align teams and achieve success.
2. Agree on common grounds
Bid partnerships can be very diverse. Take the time to understand each other’s values and how they align with the goals of the partnership. When values and goals are aligned, and clearly related to the project, team members are more motivated and committed to making the partnership a success.
By having this strong foundation in the tender phase, you also form a strong enduring relationship for the project ahead, should your bid be successful.
3. Define success
Clearly articulate what success looks like for the partnership and how individual targets fit into that vision. Defining success helps everyone stay focused on the same goal and motivated to achieve it. Success should be reviewed and re-evaluated for each goal during the bid and the project itself.
4. Develop mutual respect
Encourage team members to get to know each other and share their work style and expectations. When team members understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, they can work together more effectively and support each other in reaching their goals.
5. Foster a culture of collaboration
Encourage team members to work together and share information freely. A culture of collaboration will lead to improved teamwork and a more efficient use of resources.
6. Embrace flexibility
Encourage the team to be open to change and find creative solutions that meet everyone’s needs. Being flexible and adaptable is key to success in the bidding process and project delivery alike, where changes and unexpected developments can occur frequently.
7. Celebrate your wins
As outlined in this Forbes article about how to align teams for success, acknowledging and celebrating the wins of team members is another important factor in teaming. Team members who feel appreciated are more dedicated to their role and motivated to exceed expectations.
Working in a bid partnership can be challenging, but the rewards are worth it. With the right team alignment, you’ll be able to maximise the opportunities that come your way. Whether you’re looking to improve communication, establish trust, or work together more effectively, it’s important to have the right qualities and values in place.
8. Have strong leadership
While the tender process is a battle in its own right, winning the contract is only the beginning of the project. To ensure that your team remains aligned through mobilisation and project delivery, you need to have strong leadership that focuses on developing your people, maintaining a strong partnership and encouraging a supportive environment.
The inevitable tension of juggling project management and people management is a hard line to walk but by investing in your leadership team and providing the right training and skills, it can be achieved with great success.
Teaming to Win program
Developed specifically for bid partnerships, our Teaming to Win program is designed to help teams align their goals, expectations, and communication styles to increase their chances of success.
The Teaming to Win program is tailored to your specific needs and we’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure that your team is aligned, working effectively and ready to win. With a broad whole-of-life focus, the strategies included cover the bidding process and beyond to ensure that your team’s success doesn’t end at the submission of your tender.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to take your existing partnership to the next level, our Teaming to Win program can help you create a productive team that is driven to achieve a shared goal. Get in touch with us today to learn more.