Published here February, 2005.

A Little Foresight Goes a Long Way | It's Never Too Late to Change Strategy
Choosing the Right Response

It's Never Too Late to Change Strategy

A large consulting company was invited by government to propose on a project management assignment for a large airport extension. The consultant initially declined because their key staff were already on overseas assignments and considered that their chances of winning the award would not be high. However, the government department was persuasive because it needed a minimum of three proposals to be able to make any award. The consultant felt some obligation if it was to succeed in future opportunities.

Three of the four weeks of the proposal preparation time passed by and the consultant's available staff were struggling to assemble a credible response. It became very apparent that they were unlikely to make the deadline. The consultant searched its staff database for a project manager with experience. No one was available with airport experience, but there was a project manager with considerable project management experience. He was flown in with only four days and a long weekend to assemble the necessary submission.

The new project manager changed the orientation of the proposal. Instead of focusing on airport technology, he focused on competent project management methodology. The proposal was duly completed and submitted on time. The consultant breathed a sigh of relief and moved on to other business. Several weeks later, and to their surprise, they were awarded the assignment though their total fees were not the lowest. Government officials subsequently allowed that of the three submissions, the consultant's proposal had made the most sense.

A Little Foresight Goes a Long Way  A Little Foresight Goes a Long Way

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