Method in your madness?

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As bid writers, we are often asked to prepare responses that request a ‘methodology’ or ‘approach’. We see such questions covering a wide range of industries, from the way in which a client will deliver a planned or reactive maintenance programme through to working with offenders in the community. These questions are also becoming more and more common for the voluntary sector too, for example, providing a methodology on how a charity will recruit, train, and retain volunteers delivering a contracted service.

It would be easy to think that in asking for a methodology, the person evaluating the bid just wants a description of the overall process – the different actions required to deliver a task, such as how a plumber would attend to, and fix a burst water pipe.

While it will indeed be critical to show the clear steps an organisation will take to deliver the outcome required (such as how our plumber will repair the pipe, using our example above), our experience at Kittle demonstrates that our clients’ bids score most highly when we take a far broader view of what the question requires.

Yes, the process used is vitally important and the bid response will need to show what our client will do and how they will do it to meet the desired outcome. However, if we are to present a credible and high scoring response, we also need to demonstrate capability and capacity alongside that process. How do we do that? Well, in a nutshell, we draft responses that demonstrate:

  • People – those who will deliver the task (the process), to show the evaluator how our client will have sufficient staff with relevant skills, qualifications, and experience. We also think about training, supervision, and other support provided.
  • Tools – the technology, plant, or equipment that will enable the process – be that IT systems, telematics, communication devices, manuals, instructions, policies, and checklists.
  • Quality assurance – how the client will assure the process and demonstrate tasks have been completed to the required standard and on time, using supervision, self-assessment, and audits or other ways to measure outcomes.

Of course, bid responses should always be tailored to the particular question asked, but if you reflect these four elements clearly – process, people, tools, and quality assurance – you should create something that is far more credible.

Want to know more?

For more information about our successful approach to bidding and tendering, give our Business Development Manager, Sam Nimmo, a call for a no-obligation chat on 01491 902021 or e-mail him at