Project Controls International

FPSO and Topsides

West African Costs

Basis of Estimate

(white papers)


         Project Knowledge = Success


Que$tor Estimates

(white papers)    |   contact:   |   check me out at




- Construction Unit Costs

- FPSO and Topside Costs

- Offshore Fabrication Costs

- Welding Consumables


B.Dev./ Contracts

- Contracts: Quantum Meruit

- Guide to Business Acquisition

- Proposal Development

- Relationship Building

- Video: LATTE (Starbucks)

Mind Maps

- Estimating

- Planning

- Schedule Development

- Schedule Maintenance

- Risk Management



- Constructability

- Document Management

- Estimating Process

- Project Claims and COs

- Project Controls

- Project Execution Plan

- Project Execution Strategy

- Contract Synopsis


- Basis of Schedule

- Number of Schedule Activities

- MS Project vs. Primavera P6

- Planning and Scheduling

- Schedule Extension of  Time

- Typical Primavera P6 Settings

- Updating a P6 Schedule

- Video: Liquidated Damages

- Why Your Project will be Late



- Construction Estimating

- Estimating Course

- Planning and Scheduling

White Papers

- Basis of Estimate

- Communicating Effectively

- Construction Escalation

- Earned Value Management

- Estimating Productivity

- Evaluating Change Orders

- International Multipliers

- Nigerian Content Development

- Project Execution Plan

- Project Risk Contingency

- Project Variables

- Que$tor Estimates

- Risk Analysis Spreadsheet

- Risk Breakdown Structure

- Risk Management

- Spreadsheets vs Databases

- Starting the Project

- Why Project Controls

- Work Breakdown Structure

Interesting Stuff

- Programmable Robot

- Pipe Dimensions and Weights

- Concurrent Database

- LibreOffice Base vs. MS Access

- SharePoint Database

- SAP vs Oracle ERP

- Free Unit Converter

- Motivational Food for Thought

- Passionate about Meetings?

- Video: Project Controls



Contact Us

- Bio

- PMC Consultancy

Purpose of Business Acquisition


Successful business acquisition attempts three things:


- Increase backlog with profitable work

- Reduce project acquisition cost

- Select profitable work in line with business strategy


When evaluating and selecting a project to be pursued ideally one should look for the sweet spot or

overlap of what the customer's needs are, what one's company's strength's are and what the

competitors' weaknesses are.















The above diagram shows that a company acquires work when the strengths overlap with the customer's needs and the competitor's weaknesses. At this point the company is differentiated from the competition and is uniquely advantageous to the customer.

As an example lets take as the Client (the Customer) someone tendering for a project in Western Africa who's evaluating multiple offshore oil and gas fabricators. Now let's put ourselves in the shoes of the Business Development Manager for a given Western African fabricator. As part of the formula for success the this person in question should identify what the Customer's needs are. One could of course say: "just a fabricator", but this would be only a fraction of the total picture. One should always establish a good relationship and line of communication with the Customer, and from which one could uncover more information about what the client needs (wants, fears, preferences, current execution plan, openness alternatives, etc.). It could well be that the client is not just looking for any fabricator, but someone that can give further assurance of meeting a tight schedule deadline for example.



Opportunity Management


The purpose of opportunity management is to:


- Be selective in which opportunities are pursued

This is the key to lowering bid costs by properly focusing on the opportunities with real chance of being successful and profitable projects.

- Bid smarter, not harder

- Make intelligent resource commitments.



Determining Expected Value and Pursuit Cost


The expected value of an opportunity is a function of the probability that the project will be funded (Go%), times the probability that the project will be awarded (Get%), time the project awarded value amount.


That is:

Project Expected Value = Go% x Get% x Project Value.

The pursuit cost should always be lower that the Project Expected Value x Project Profit Margin.



Opportunity Pursuit


Below are listed some good rules of thumb to use when pursuing opportunities:


- If you don't learn of an opportunity until it's been publicly advertised (via direct RFP/ ITB/ ITT or web portal), you're too late. Being well position creates preference, and the preferred contractor wins more than 67% of the time. Also after the client formally advertises the project communication might be restricted.

- If you don't know the customer, don't bid. Customers award contracts to companies they know and trust, so you must invest the time to build confidence and trust. Furthermore, tendering for a project without knowing the customer  is akin to running hurdles blindfolded. For example one might tender to what could be classed as a difficult client that's very particular about the project's specifications, with no allowance for alternates, and that additionally creates whether directly or indirect delays or additional work via rigid and slow lines of communication.

- Know what it takes to win. There's no substitute for good intelligence. You need to develop sponsors in the customer organization who will give you the "inside" information that isn't revealed in the RFP.

- Pre-sell your solution, project manager and team, and differentiators. That is have the tender already pre-packaged and pre-sold to the client prior to the official tender being released.

- If possible preempt formal competition. Sole source speaks for itself.















Proposal Planning


1. Proposal Management


- The proposal manager is identified early and is dedicated to the effort.

- The proposal manager knows the client well and is committed to pursuing the work.

- The proposal manager is a good team builder, not an autocrat.

- The proposal manager holds regular team meetings through proposal development and keeps the writers informed.

- Ideally, the proposal manager will become the project manager.



2. Customer Knowledge


- The proposal team has a good understanding of the customer's key issues.

- The team receives good intelligence throughout the effort.

- The team knows the specific,issues and concerns of each of the key decision makers and influencers in the customer's organization.



3. Proposal Team


- The team is staffed by the right people (who know the issues, who are technically competent, and who know how to write good proposals).

- Team members are dedicated to the effort, committed to getting the work, and empowered to make decisions about their sections of the proposal.

- Team members understand the customer's needs and requirements, as well as the execution plan.

- The team is cohesive and enthusiastic.



4. Win Strategy


- A win strategy is always developed, even before the RFP/ ITT arrives.

- It is based on customer knowledge and early positioning efforts.

- The strategy evolves as more intelligence becomes available.

- The strategy is reviewed and approved early by senior managers and is communicated to the team.

- The team translates the strategy into key messages that appear in the executive summary, proposal, and presentation to the customer.



5. Customer Relationship


- Long-term relationships have been developed at all levels in the customer organization, so the customer has confidence and trust in the bidder.

- The proposal team maintains regular contact with key customers throughout proposal development, receives feedback on the proposed execution plan and/ or proposed project team, and is able to react to it.

- The proposal team is responsive to the customer's questions and concerns.



Strategy Tool: Key Issues Analysis


A tabulation of the key issues (see below picture) can be very helpful as part of the bid/ no bid decision as well as ensuring key stakeholders in the decision and strategy development make timely contributions to the analysis during in the business acquisition process. Some of the benefits of this tool include:


- It focuses effort on what is important to the customer.

- It guides team discussion to capture essentials in less time.

- It ensures that we take a wider view of the competitive marketplace.























Common Denominators of Excellent Proposals


- They are 100% responsive to the customer's request for information. They answer every question in the order in which the customer asked the question.

- They are written for multiple types of readers: for detail evaluators as well as management-level skimmers.

- They show how you will meet the customer's needs and requirements and respond to their key issues. They do not merely present our qualifications.

- They differentiate us from our competitors. They demonstrate and prove why the customer should choose one. They consistently link issues, features, benefits, and proofs.

- They make it easy for the evaluators to score us highly.

- They contain no untailored boilerplate.



Proposals: Anatomy of a Loser


- In typical losing proposal efforts, there has been no positioning, so the RFP is a surprise, and half the available response time is lost while a bid decision is made.

- When a proposal manager is finally assigned, he is overwhelmed and plunges into getting the proposal written. No

strategy is developed.

- In a scramble, the proposal team can do little more than throw untailored boilerplate into the proposal; to mitigate risk, the estimate is deliberately high and there's no time to refine it.

- The proposal receives only a cursory review; however, some senior managers (who haven't been involved in the effort) insist on massive last-minute changes, which are made on the fly. The proposal is submitted with seconds to spare.



Proposals: Anatomy of a Winner


- In winning proposal efforts, you have known about the opportunity for a long time, have pre-sold your solution, are well-positioned with the customer, and are ready when the RFP arrives.

- The proposal manager and core team develop a win strategy, responsive outline, and executive summary before the kickoff. Senior managers review and approve the strategy at this point.

- At the kickoff, the writers receive everything they need to do an excellent job quickly; the estimate is refined until it is consistent with the offer and highly competitive.

- Before submittal, the proposal draft gets a thorough red team review and is polished. As it's submitted, senior managers contact their counterparts, whom they've already met, and express their commitment.

Guide to Business Acquisition


The importance of good communication. Or telepathy as the alternate!

An “armchair scheduler” or frontline messenger?

Why Project Controls

Selected Articles

A necessary document to support and explain the cost estimate: How did you arrive at that number?

Basis of Estimate
Email: Friend/colleague?subject=Interesting link - Guide to Business Acquisition&body=Interesting link from Project Controls International: