Tender writing. Mmm. Those two little words often evoke strong emotions in people. Sometimes hives.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s not for everyone.
But – if you reframe the way you think about it – it can be an adventure!
It’s complex. It’s challenging. It meanders and sometimes goes off track. And invariably hits bumps along the way. But when you pull together a fabulous team and produce a compelling document – and win the job – it’s worth it.
But why is tender writing so tough?
Well, you can have a bid-winning strategy and an impeccable process – and you especially need a solid strategy and process for this kind of work. You can have the best team in the world. The subject matter experts. The bid leaders. The content gurus. The design team. And you absolutely have to have an organised, high-quality team. But, tender writing and editing is still a massive… adventure. By nature. Why?
- They are generally large (massive) documents – hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pages, figures, appendices, etc – that have to communicate your key messages succinctly.
- They have to address specific criteria – properly. Generic statements won’t cut it.
- They often have multiple authors – that have to be consolidated to ensure consistency of voice.
- They are generally prepared in sections – by different teams, sometimes in different cities, states and/or countries – that have to be cohesive.
- They invariably have tight timeframes – and budgets.
Given these. House style is king. Version control is queen.
These are just some of the variables – and there are invariably others. Less controllable ones.
But, with a solid strategy, process and team, it can be done.
I edited a HUGE adventure of a tender for “global leader in sustainable solutions for infrastructure and renewable energy projects”, ACCIONA. It involved working with teams in Brisbane, Perth and Hong Kong, and working with content that had been written by multiple authors – and just to add to the adventure – much of which had been translated from Spanish or Chinese.
Still, we navigated the timezone and language challenges – and got the job done.
It was a huge adventure.