Understanding when, and where, good is good enough

  • Published on: 5 September 2018
  • By: Stuart Nicholson

I am sure you have all seen the video of a guy drawing 3 images of Spiderman.

The first takes 10 minutes, the second takes 1 minute and the last takes 12 seconds. I think I saw it for the fourth time in LinkedIn today.

This has been used to describe various things, but mainly ‘you get what you pay for’.

As with most analogies, I like to find a bidding angle. I am not going to go down the route of never having enough time or resources to do a bid, my take is to make sure that you have time to do ‘enough’ and that the time that you spend on it is proportional.  

For example, if you have a good relationship with a customer, they are aware of your value proposition & your commercials are tested and okay, why would you excessively consume resources on doing the ‘best bid that has ever left the building’? We need to be more pragmatic about both recognising bid costs and making sure that they are proportional to the size and shape of opportunity.

I recently attended a final ‘Black Hat’ review of a bid for a large corporate. There was almost the entire leadership team in a room to review this proposal, including 3 Commercial Managers and a Commercial Director (each feeling necessary to attend for the sake of seen to be ‘contributing’). A quick calculation of the number of people and the average hourly cost, we had already spent 7% of the first year GM on the review alone.

My take on this video, we need to be focussing on doing enough to secure the win, and clearly defining what ‘enough’ looks like at the start.