Getting started

How to get started with a collaborative bid relationship and how to get from there to the position of working together following a successful contract award. These two questions are uppermost in many minds when the subject of collaborative tendering is raised in discussions with business people who have not yet tried it.

It is suggested that the process of getting from a to b – from the very first informal discussions in your networks for example, to putting a collaborative bid together and being awarded a contract, can be seen as comprising three phases, each with a series of (usually but not necessarily) consecutive steps. These are:-

Forming – Preparing – Implementing


  • Identify and engage with others in informal grouping
  • Research target markets, from the perspective of a collaborative offering
  • Identify possible partners and any skills shortfall
  • Define tender search criteria
  • Prepare standard background material
  • Agree NDA & Heads of Terms


  • Identify specific tender opportunity
  • Establish Interest / invite participation
  • Identify appropriate team leader (if not already done)
  • Execute Teaming Agreement


  • PQQ
  • Tender preparation and submittal
  • Contract & subcontract negotiation
  • Contract/subcontract award

A few words to summarise what can be a lengthy and extremely time-consuming process. However if it opens up new opportunities for your business, can you afford not to try it?

Nothing in this awareness article is intended as legal advice. If you have a specific legal requirement or query you should consult a solicitor directly.