Get a sample of chapter of the new Ultimate series book, Ultimate Basic Business Skills

A few days ago, a copy of the latest book in the Ultimate series, Ultimate Basic Business Skills: Training an Effective Workforce, landed on my desk. Like all the books in this new series, it follows a similar format as the ASTD Trainer’s WorkShop series, providing everything you could possibly ask for to quickly put together a training program. It includes guidelines for designing programs, agendas, learning activities, tools, assessments, and PowerPoint slides that can be customized as well as printed for use as class handouts. The topics of the book are the basic business skills that everyone needs to function successfully, effectively, and efficiently in the business environment, such as customer service, basic communication, presentations, networking, conflict management, writing, problem solving, decision making, and much more. These are foundational skills that newcomers to the business environment need, but the rest of us could also use some polish on. To learn more about the book and what it provides, check out the Ultimate Basic Business Skills webpage and download the sample chapter.

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Decent Proposal

Project managers must get into the habit of talking about projects in business terms. It can help to reduce communication problems, and smooth the way for customers and teams to work more effectively together. Project proposals are a real good place to start, even if it means writing them retrospectively after the work has been approved.

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Topic Teasers Vol. 60: Adding to Agile Proposals

Question: In our attempt to move to an agile-driven organization, management has asked my team to be involved with responding to a proposal that, if we get it, could provide an increase of 50% in our gross income this year. Since we’ve always complained that we weren’t consulted before contracts were signed, now the pressure is on for us to be very wise regarding what we add to the company’s submission. Are there any rules of proposal development for agile teams?

A. Yes. Just like rules for creating speeches can make the difference between wowing the crowd and expounding to a bored audience, learn the correct way to write proposals. Hint: It is better to win the business than look good and have a fancy document.

B. Yes. Many colleges and universities have degrees in contract writing. At least one person on the team should have at least 12 hours of formal education before you include the team’s ideas in the proposal. The good thing is that this training can also be used for PDUs.

C. No. Those who become skilled in contract negotiation and responding to proposals are housed in a special procurement department. They have eked out their skill sets through years on the job. While you can sit in on meetings, don’t risk looking foolish. Always defer to their ideas and decisions.

D. No. There is so much political intrigue and price fixing involved in Request for Proposals (RFP) or other versions of how organizations solicit bids that not much depends on the actual proposal submitted by your organization. See if anyone on your team knows anyone in the potential customer organization who could leverage the decision to your advantage.

Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

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