Case Study

Coaching teams for bids in the higher education sector

Overview

Our client’s bid team comprised architects, building services engineers, landscapers, and acousticians. We devised a workshop to bring these disciplines together so that the team could discuss its client’s ‘hot buttons’. We facilitated the workshop to include win themes, and to work with the team to identify the best examples of past project evidence to support claims of experience and capability. We took notes in a structured format so that we could hand them over at the end of the session, so the team had useful material immediately after the workshop. Since we managed the time to ensure all the agenda items were covered, we left the team with actionable workshop notes that enabled the team to draft the bid responses for our subsequent review and editing.

Lecture Theatre

Solution

We pre-prepared templates for recording ‘hot buttons’, win themes, and project evidence. The templates enabled the team to make their own notes in a structured format, which we supplemented with our notes, including actions. The team was left with a clear direction for the limited time until submission, including an action timetable to enable the bid lead to manage resources and track progress.

We left the team able to show how it would design world-class learning environments as part of an Education Quarter that was to include other educational facilities, e.g. an Institute of Technology and a free school. Our client’s bid was for full multidisciplinary services.

Challenges

A key challenge was that the various team members had different levels of bid experience, and were mostly focused on the technical merits and features of their disciplines – rather than the benefits to the end users of the college facilities. Our role included coaching the team to recognise the need for sharp focus on end users’ requirements, and on presenting bid responses to show how the design proposals met the requirements very well. When the team members were aligned in this regard, they worked together effectively and inspired new ideas from each other’s thoughts. This is one of the most important challenges to overcome in team coaching, helping the team members to unlock each other’s talents.

Outcome

The successful bid was a significant result for our client’s Education division. The team went on to design facilities including a specialist centre for construction, engineering, digital media, creativity and technology, maximising the use of technology to support new ways of learning. The designs were to encourage collaboration, innovation and creativity, drawing inspiration from the offices and ways of working used by Google, one of the college’s partners.

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