When you decide to do a project be sure you stay in control. One of the first things you must clarify is what does the client want. In other words what products must you produce? You need to be clear about the products.
The same is important when you are putting together your Technical Proposal. A key part of the Technical Proposal is the Detailed Product Flow (DPF). INSITE’s DPF form guides you through three phases. One, the process of clarifying what the products are. Two, identifying the content of the Products. And, three, describing what the content will look like and how you will generate it. This is the secret to stay in control.
First you need to study the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the client. This will communicate what the client wants. The clients might not call these “products”. They might refer to them as “project outputs”, or “project outcomes”. You need to study the ToR. You need to explicate the implications. Some times a client might not even be aware of the products implied in the ToR.
Second, you clarify the products. Write them down in a practical sequence. Some products are antecedents to other products. That means that before you can produce product c, you have to first complete products a and b. But it’s not enough to name and sequence the products.
Third, you need to clarify the content of the products. This means that you must break down each oproduct into its sub-components. Some products might not have sub-components. That’s OK. But make sure that the product is irreducible – don’t assume this.
Fourth, describe what the content will look like and how you will produce this content. It’s important that you do this. This means that there can be no confusion between you and the client. It is clear what products you are delivering. This helps you to stay in control.
The INSITE DPF form contains an example of four products. We submitted this DPF form with a proposal to the Social Housing Regulatory Agency (SHRA). SHRA called for proposals to assess performance of social housing institutions (SHIs). (SHRA awards a restructuring grant to performing SHIs). (SHRA accepted the INSITE team’s proposals).
We sequenced these products. We clarified their content. We described the content. We said would complete the products within a framework of SHRA guidelines. The last point is important. It requires client input as a condition of product completion. At the end of the form there are “Exclusions”. These are critical to specify. They clarify what we are NOT completing. These are intermediate products that are antecedents to our products. We clarify that this is SHRA’s responsibility. We also clarify that we can complete these intermediate products. but it will need extra budget. The DPF form is a tool to manage client expectations. It is indispensable for managing the risk of scope creep. We are satisfied that we stay in control.
We hope that you find this INSITE DPF form useful to stay in control.