Nov 7

How NOT to work on a bid with a distributed consortium


So you’ve just put together the consortium to beat all consortiums. The dream team of consortiums. Every partner a specialist with an extensive track record on delivery. Great!

The lead partner is a behemoth organisation that has led many a successful bid, just having their name on the document alone will give you a head start. The bid you’re about to produce should be framed and put in a museum, it’ll be that good.

You’ve just got to produce it first…



So away you go and quickly identify a project lead to bring the bid together. Each organisation is assigned their task and the work begins. This is easy…

Until somebody raises a question by email and copies in the relevant parties. Then somebody answers and copies in more relevant parties. Then another member offers a different solution and before you know it, you’re in a full scale email war with hundreds of messages going back and forth via your mailbox.

Until you send over your input for review and it comes back with notes, which you work on and send back a second draft in a completely new word doc. Then a portion of your input is added to another organisation’s input as it would work better in their section and before you know it there are hundreds of different versions of your input flying around.

Until you start getting invites to meeting after meeting with different members of the consortium and the whole group to discuss issues you thought were resolved or provide updates you haven’t got because you’re spending all your time in meetings.


Until the project lead has to bring together all the different versions of Word docs and Excel files into one format, make changes, and then make changes to the changes, and then make more changes to changes, until the task becomes a never-ending process.

On second thoughts, maybe framing it might not be the best idea… maybe just submit it and keep your fingers crossed.


Or you could consider approaching it like an agile project and put together a bid befitting of the consortium submitting it, including:

Daily stand ups — daily status meetings for all parties working on the bid answering the following questions:

  1. What did I accomplish yesterday?
  2. What will I do today?
  3. What obstacles are impeding my progress?

Shared Google docs — all members preparing their input in shared Google docs so the latest version can be accessed at all times and all the revision history can also be seen.

Format after final draft — once the final draft is completed in a shared Google doc this then only needs to be exported to Word and formatted once before submitting.

  • WAAT Ltd
    Full service digital agency
    that adapts to your needs
Web Architecture
and Technologies Ltd
27 Dingley Place, London EC1V 8BR, United Kingdom
VAT Number GB100609172
WAAT Switzerland GmbH
Bernoullistrasse 20, CH-4056 Basel
WAAT Poland Sp. z o.o.
Telewizyjna 48, 01-492 Warszawa
Send us a message

Follow us
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter