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About: Tony Pentecost

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The Case For Lean Six Sigma in Contracting

Lean Six Sigma principles can be applied to all business processes, and within the inefficient proposal management processes that are used in most companies,  we can find the case for it’s use.  We can find the best locations within all elements of the 6-Phase Capture as well as the Proposal Management phase for the use of wastes eliminating techniques.  The 7–wastes are ever present.  How we deal with them can make proposal development rapid, accurate, efficient, and cost-effective.  The Case For Lean Six Sigma in Proposal Development is based on the logic that a thorough, cost-effective, and timely production schedule will yield a compliant proposal that also has effective and efficient vignettes, call-out boxes, and data-based facts that WOW the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB).

Lean Methods Attack Proposal Development Waste – “TIMWOOD.”

Proposal Lead Time can only be minimized by the elimination of the Seven Types of Waste.    In order to prevent costs from rising in proposal development we recommend the following steps.

  1. Transportation (moving capture information and proposal materials from place to another)
  2. Inventory (Proposal in queue for processing)
  3. Motion (excess movement of RFP materials)
  4. Waiting (delays caused by staff writer shortages, estimator shortages, and editor shortages)
  5. Overproduction (producing more proposal starts than is needed)
  6. Over-processing (adding more value into proposals and grants than the customer is willing to paying for)
  7. Defects/Rework (correcting mistakes)

Our Proposal Development and Management Training will help you.  See our syllabus below:

ProSource Proposal Management Training Syllabus

The Beginning of a Destiny

Instructor Information

Instructor Email Office Location & Hours
Sean Heileman Huntsville, AL

General Information


Proposal Manager Training is typically a 4 Day Training Session (8 hours per day).  However, we have found that an extended course, 10 weeks, allows the Lean tools we teach, to become positively reinforced, and part of your proposal development culture.  This course is designed to develop strong, well-educated, and disciplined Proposal Managers who can captivate and lead a team to produce winning proposals.

Expectations and Goals

Each candidate is expected to proceed with their training in a positive, proactive, diligent, and faithful manner to accomplish the goal of becoming a ProSource Technology, Inc. Certified Proposal Manager.

Course Materials

Required Materials

  • Training Handouts
  • Training Outlines
  • Training Slideshows

Optional Materials

  • Note Pads
  • Centurion Research Reports
  • Proposal Solicitations

Required Text

Shipley Associates Capture Guide

Shipley Associates Proposal management Guide 3.0’s Must Win Process Manual

Course Schedule

Week Topic Reading Exercises
1 Tues Overview of Capture & Proposal Management Overview of Capture & Proposal Management Review Proposal Templates
2 Tues, Thurs, Sat Concept of a Proposal Management PlanCapture/Proposal Templates Redstone PMP Develop a PMP Based on Existing Capture in the Capture Management Plan
3 Tues, Thurs, Sat Concept of Proposal Scheduling Proposal Scheduling System Set-up a 45-Day Proposal ScheduleSet-up a 30-Day Proposal ScheduleSet-up a 7 Day Proposal Schedule
4 Tues Back-Office Proposal Management PTI Proposal Scheduling System Scheduling Process for Back-Office Resources based on Targeted Prime Contracts
5 Tues, Thurs, Sat Understanding The Proposal Evaluation ProcessProposal management and Management Guidance Redstone PMPCenturion Research of YOUR ProjectShipley Excerpts Fill-in The Blanks Module
 6 Tues, Thurs, Sat Steps To Produce Professional Quality·         Outline & Themes·         Kickoff Mtg·         Detailed Outline

·         Storyboarding & illustrations

·         Pink Team Review

·         First Draft

·         First Draft Review

·         Second Draft/Review

·         Red Team Review

·         Green Team Review

·         Gold  Team Review

·         Publications

·         Ship/Delivery Process

Must Win ExcerptSlideshow- Steps To Produce Quality Proposals Build a PMP for your projectTemplate Test Study Guide
7 Tues, Thurs, Sat Modular WritingSupporting DetailsCost ProposalRed and Green Review Process

Gold Review Process


Modular Writing HandoutCost Proposal Handout
8 Tues and Thurs Oral PresentationsPast Performance FormsPast Performance ReviewsFAR and DFAR Shipley Handout
9 Tues and Thurs Oral PresentationsResume Template DevelopmentWhat is a Cost/Price Proposal Shipley HandoutCorporate Handout Evaluate a Cost ProposalRead FAR Clauses
10 Tues and Thurs Oral PresentationsHow To Communicate Across OrganizationsReps & Certs Shipley Handout Oral Presentations

Exam Schedule

Date Subject
Week 2 Proposal Template Test
Week 3 Centurion Research Online Test 1
Week 4 Centurion Research Online Test 2
Week 5 Oral Presentation of Proposal Kickoff Meeting and Schedule
Week 6 Proposal Management Oral Presentation ( Post First Draft Oral)
Week 7 Proposal Management Green Team Facilitation Oral
Week 8 Proposal Management Red and Gold Team Facilitation Oral
Week 9 Proposal Management File Saving and Closeout
1Week 10 Conflict Resolution and Proposal Management Capstone Event

Additional Information and Resources

Supplemental Reading

RFP’s Suck

Must Win Process –

Capture Guide – Shipley & Associates

Value Stream Mapping Handout

Proposal Management 3.0 – Shipley & Associates

Developing a Lean Approach to Proposal Management is taught and not caught.  Contact us to earn more.

If you are interested in more articles like this, please sign up for our RSS Feeds.  If you need Proposal Management assistance, contact us at 256-945-7774, or .  We will gladly support you.

Happy Hunting!

Sean Heileman

CEO, ProSource Technology, Inc.

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Capture Management – Your Capture Has a Shelf Life

Are you tired of missing the cut?  Are you tired of being a good competitor; but, just not the winner?  Then perhaps the solution is a stronger capture.  As contractors, we sometimes believe that our prior work will be sufficient for the proposal.  However, this thought can cause complacency – leading to failure.


As a capture is transferred from the Capture Manager to the Proposal Manager, the handoff can leave out valuable information, data, hot buttons, and precious “golden nuggets” that can lead to a contract award.

A Capture Plan has a shelf life.  Therefore, we must be careful to design a capture model that considers all aspects of capture.  In order to prevent Capture Expiration we recommend the following steps.

  • Execute a Competitive analyses (Black Hat)
  • Develop a Gap analysis
  • Perform a Requirement analysis
  • Perform a Price To Win (PTW analysis
  • Manage to the plan, understanding that reality will depart from the plan every day.


What can small businesses do to better manage a long range pipeline so there’s time to conduct a capture?  Most small businesses are opportunistic by necessity.  They must find revenue quickly, or be eliminated from play – quickly.

The Capture Process employed is entirely dependent upon your growth strategy.  As leaders, we must provide vision and discipline to achieve the growth plan.  So, how can we do that?  It starts with self-discipline.  I highly suggest you move from an ad hoc business development model to a growth strategy that includes a Business Development – Capability Maturity Model (BD-CMM) that escalates in rigor and confidence periodically.  Articulate your strategic capture and growth strategies to your internal team on a periodic basis.  Conduct weekly Business Development briefings, and review your pipeline using a proven Capture Checklist (we can provide one for you, free of charge) if you do not have one.  Eliminate unrealistic capture efforts from your pipeline as soon as practical.  Remember, all captures have a shelf life.

Keep your captures relevant through research and communication with your potential customers.   Time is the limiting factor.  Ensure you maximize the capture time, and you will avoid Capture Expiration and win more work. Never allow a capture to fail because the Capture Manager is replaced.

If you are interested in more articles like this, please sign up for our RSS Feeds.  If you need Capture Management assistance, contact us at 256-945-7774, or .  We will gladly support you.

Happy Hunting!

Sean Heileman

CEO, ProSource Technology, Inc.


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Proposal Management – Quality vs Cost

We have all entered a Proposal development phase with a zealous Capture Manager who is able to assist, and want the very best proposal – at all cost.  The Capture Manager is enthusiastic and offers additional assistance every step of the way, and insists on a top quality proposal.  However, when you read the Section L of the RFP and reading the SECTION M, you realize that the proposal is a Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Proposal (LPTA).  In this Best Value Scenario, where Price is the most important factor, you realize that an “A+” Book Report is not as important as the Capture Manager believes.  You realize that an “A+” price with a “C” Book Report may win the competition


It is very important to convey your thoughts without creating animosity with the team; and especially with the Capture Manager.  The team will teeter on your every word.  Try conveying your message with analogies (just as we provided above).  The balance between keeping a Technically Acceptable Proposal and an excellent price means giving more attention to the particulars of the other Direct Costs (ODC), and Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), special tools and equipment, geographic dispersion of personnel  on the contract, government furnished equipment GFE), and contractor furnished equipment (CFE).

It is important to keep Bid and Proposal dollar expenditures to a minimum to allow for contingencies up to and including a work stoppage.  You may have to shelve the proposal if the government states it is cancelling the competition; therefore, be cognizant of escalating writing costs.    In order to prevent focusing on the technical more than the Cost/Price volume we recommend the following steps.

  • Read the RFP in it’s entirety before making assignments
  • Conduct a Q&A session with your time to capture questions and inaccuracies in the RFP
  • Refine your Gap analysis
  • Refine your requirement analysis
  • Test your Price To Win (PTW) against the Final RFP requirements
  • Limit the amount of time your writers have to produce a first draft


Value is in the eye of the customer, and in a LPTA competition, the customer is telling us to focus on austerity and reductions.  The customer is embedded in the Source Selection Board (SSB), the contracting office, the end user, the COTR, and stakeholders at higher levels.  Be wise choose to balance your proposal management time with a heavier emphasis on “how” your price volume is developed, and control the time spent on the technical approach.

If you are interested in more articles like this, please sign up for our RSS Feeds.  If you need Proposal Management assistance, contact us at 256-945-7774, or .  We will gladly support you.

Happy Hunting!

Sean Heileman

CEO, ProSource Technology, Inc.

0 Continue Reading →


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