Winning the Business

Looking Ahead: APMP’s Long-Range Planning Meeting Recap

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We can’t wait for 2019.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a great year for APMP. There’s just so much to look forward to, following APMP’s long-range planning meeting that we can’t wait to start.

We hosted 13 board members in Tysons Corner, Virginia, earlier this month to discuss how APMP will evolve over the next few years. We thought critically and creatively about how to serve our members and the industry into the future. The day was facilitated by APMP Board Chair Jamie Ninneman and Seth Kahan, a respected Washington, DC, Long Range Planning consultant who specializes in association visioning. About 100 members globally also contributed to the meeting by emailing us their input throughout the day.  We shared the live member comments with our Board.

After our session, it’s clear that some things will stay the same: we’ll always be committed to advancing the professional development and the careers of our members. We want APMP to be the internationally respected authority on the bid and proposal profession. And we want to support all industries and all professionals who win business for their organizations. The challenge in the years ahead is how to serve a larger, more diverse organization—and do it well.

The board identified four key areas that will help APMP achieve its mission as we mature:

  1. Expansion into adjacent roles. We recognize that bid and proposal professionals are our primary audience. But across industries and sectors, there are additional professional roles that help win business—and those team members could benefit from the expertise and professional standards we’ve established. We need to welcome more folks into the association who have different job titles than our current members, but who still contribute to winning new business. We think there is a lot of room under this proposal development lifecycle tent and we want to make sure that folks know they are welcome.
  1. Strategic growth. As we select future chapter sites in the U.S. and abroad, we want to focus on urban locations with strong economies. Those are traditionally the chapters with the largest numbers of members that make the most impact on our global expansion. We need locations with thriving business-winning communities and strong leadership at the local level to produce valuable experiences for our members.  We are interested in helping our chapters recruit new members, no matter where they are in the world.
  2. Executive participation. Our members need champions from higher places in their organizations. We have content and programming that can benefit senior directors and VPs—people with greater authority on the org chart—and we believe we can do more to support this audience.
  3. Greater awareness. There are a lot of folks who haven’t met APMP yet, and we need to spread the word. Our Body of Knowledge, APMP certification, programming, and abundance of resources deserve a larger audience. Our members are our best salespeople, and we need to help them share the value of APMP. We also need to leverage social media channels to communicate with members—and to listen to what they have to say.

It’s hard to summarize all the day’s conversations, thinking, and energy into one brief article, but please know it was the most productive long-range planning discussion that I’ve been part of at APMP.

And now the work begins—which is why we are excited for 2019 to start.

APMP’s staff will take the ideas that members sent in and that our Board discussed to create a strategic plan covering the next 3-5 years. Along the way, there will be more opportunities for members to provide input. Once final, an overview of the plan will be shared with all our members.

I’m grateful for all of our committed and engaged members. Thank you for lending APMP your time, talents, and thoughtful input. We couldn’t grow without you.

We wish you the very best, as we wrap up another calendar year. Let’s have a great New Year, and we’re all looking forward to 2019.


Rick Harris, CF APMP, is the Executive Director of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. During his tenure, the association has nearly tripled in size and now serves bid and proposal professionals around the world. He can be reached at rick.harris@apmp.org.

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