What is a bid writing plan and why is it important?

Managing a tender proposal needs a project plan, often called the bid management plan. The bid management plan details how the tender team will produce the bid solution. However, as the deadline approaches it is more important to focus on a bid writing plan (or tender writing plan). But what is the difference?


The bid management plan is the responsibility of the bid manager but the bid writing plan is the responsibility of the submission manager (or proposal manager). These two roles are often the same person but in important or large bids they should be separate roles to get the best results.


It is important to separate the bid writing plan from the bid management plan and administer them separately. The best way to do that is to make sure that you have an experienced submission manager who understands both tendering and document production. This is the service that Madrigal Communications offers.

The tender writing plan template is a standard spreadsheet that lists the tender tasks down the left-hand column. Progress is tracked as each schedule (or section of a schedule) passes through the writing, review and layout stages.

The bid management plan usually focusses on the information gathering stage of the tender. It allocates and monitors the actions of the subject matter experts (SMEs). The key tasks of the SMEs include:

  • estimators—managing the pricing determination and subcontractor quotations
  • operations people—developing the methodologies that will include WHS, environmental processes and quality control
  • designers—putting together plans for construction or operations
  • contract—reviewing the contractual obligations and advising on amendments
  • finance and commercial—people developing the business risk profile of the project including insurances and financial capabilities


The most common mistake in tendering is when the bid manager and the bid team’s subject matter experts focus too much of their attention on the bid solution (how the contract or project is to be done) and do not leave enough time to put the submission together (the content needed for presenting and marketing the solution).


The bid writing plan focusses the bid team on the production of the proposal document. Like all project plans the writing plan tasks are calculated backwards from the deadline. It focuses on the needs of the production team:

  • bid writers—review, edit & audit written content
  • graphic designers—content and images to lay out the document
  • illustrators and graphic artists—lay out of infographics and graphics
  • submission manager—review of written and visual content for compliance with RFT
  • independent review team—audit the solution and bid win strategy
  • executive team—review and approve the content and layout before submission

A tender writing plan managed by an experienced submission manager (such as Madrigal Communications) emphasises to the bid team that the fundamental objective is to deliver a professionally presented bid document capable of winning the tender.