Saturday, January 3, 2009

The A Team

This is another piece about the tendency in proposal writing to overcapitalize as a way to give added weight (i.e., importance and value) to certain words or terms. In this case, the culprit is Team.

Many of our proposal managers instruct their writers to uppercase Team when referring to our or the Team, in other words the group of people who will carry out the contract if it’s awarded to us. (Some writers keep that instruction in mind as they draft their work; others deal with it by running a global “search and replace” before submitting their work to me for editing.)

The managers do not, however, address how to treat the various forms that team can take in a proposal. As a result, I regularly see “the previous Team,” “the incumbent’s Team,” “a Teaming partner,” “the Teaming arrangement,” and so forth.

Obviously this wouldn’t even be an issue if common sense ruled the day. But then, what would I have to write about!