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Opportunities for involvement exist across a whole spectrum of activities, from short-term review/assessment activities in Australia, to short-term offshore assignments for individuals or teams, to long-term offshore assignments for individuals or teams, to overall project management which might include technical inputs as well as sub-contracting of activities.
Organisations such as The Development Executive Group (http://www.developmentex.com) are a valuable resource for individuals and firms to identify opportunities, individuals and potential partners. This Group provides a range of free information and support services to individuals and companies, including project information updates, a weekly development newsletter and employment opportunities in development sector.
An immediate key success factor is consideration of which level of involvement for a particular opportunity is likely to deliver best result with minimum of risk – for organisation, client, stakeholders and recipients of support.
Many of larger activities, such as programs, facilities and sector-wide approaches, often have sub-components that will be let out – meaning overall project managing firm could be ineligible to perform services within a sub-component. The key principles to securing sub-component involvement is often identical to that required to secure overall project, as there will be a call for tender using same or very similar process to that used by funding agency.
Consequently, all levels of involvement in development arena are likely at some point to require interested organisations/individuals to participate in a competitive tendering round. This is often case regardless of size of resultant budget.
Reality Check - Tendering efficiency and effectiveness remains critical.
Tendering skills alone, while critical, are not sole success factor – in fact tendering well in absence of other key activities/initiatives may prove insufficient. Key considerations for success, in addition to compiling a winning tender include:
•Having winning product – team, approach, methodology, and response to requirements of a tender •Ensuring advance positioning – research, preparation, resources •Maintaining adequate promotion – often key here is relationships, and certainly past achievements •Being in right place – knowing clients and stakeholders and having an international presence •Offering right price – must be competitive and offering value for money.
The tender response is often most challenging aspect (apart from implementation of course), addressed by ensuring appropriate preparation and analysis is conducted in advance. The tendering timeframe usually falls within a 4 – 8 week period and generally responses would be required to address key criteria including team, approach and methodology, management, and price.
Reality Check - Preparation must commence prior to public call for tender if a realistic chance of success is to be expected.
These thoughts are by no means exhaustive, though they do cover some core principles relevant to successful business development and tendering approaches.
Mel Dunn is Managing Director of Global Business and Development Solutions (globizdev.com ), which works with individuals and organisations that are committed to business success and the success of others.