The art of storyboarding

couple of business people sat in front of a gallery

When bidding, it is important to ensure your proposal:

  • Answers the bid questions fully
  • States what, who and how you will deliver your service
  • Evidences or substantiates your credentials
  • Articulates benefits to the Authority (the ‘buyer’ of your service or product)
  • Reflects, as far as possible, the higher end of any evaluation criteria.

This is where storyboarding becomes a crucial part of the process.

What is storyboarding?

It is essentially a process of planning a response in a way that hits all the above elements and makes sure that your solution will be compliant with the Authority’s requirements. These requirements may include the need to address certain win themes in the proposal or to highlight where you intend to go above and beyond the scope of the contract to add value.

Other benefits of storyboarding include:

  • Closer scrutiny of the question and the opportunity to read between the lines
  • Ensuring that the solution is consistent across the responses
  • Providing a response that is structured to the question guidance, making it easier for the evaluator to assess and score the proposal.

Why we do it

First and foremost, we make the entire bid preparation dead easy for our clients!

And the best way to do that is to recognise that our clients are subject matter experts, while we are writing professionals. That makes the perfect combination as clients download what is in their heads or provide material, while the bid writer does…..well, all the writing.

We have found that the best way to support our clients in the storyboarding process is to:

  1. Invest time reading in – reviewing all the bid documentation carefully so that the bid writer has a really good understanding of what the Authority is looking for

  2. Send the client’s subject matter experts a list of questions in advance of a meeting – these are designed to provide the framework for a conversation rather than being the means to an end

  3. Frame the questions in a way that breaks down the requirements and evaluation criteria to help the subject matter expert test their own solution while allowing the bid writer to draw out the really important information they need.

We also find that well-prepared storyboarding sessions help the client to identify where there are hidden benefits for the Authority and ensures we cover the relevant guidance and any requirements around added value.

How we do it

When talking to subject matter experts, we find it best to record the interview rather than type notes into a laptop as it allows us to keep the conversation flowing – and that can also mean the process takes up less time for the client. This conversation allows us to:

  • Explore different parts of the solution together and how it meets the requirements and evaluation criteria
  • Clarify information at an early stage – just to make sure the bid writer understands the solution
  • Plan the response together before writing begins.

This high level of engagement at an early stage also achieves time and cost efficiencies at review phases later in the bid process, minimising the need for extensive rewriting.

The outcome of this approach is a far better experience for the client where they can spend more time getting on with their business and leave all the hard work to us!

Want to know how we can help you?

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