We recently ran a VT Virtual Session with Karnita McElveen, VP of Operations and Program Management Office (PMO) for Information Sciences Consulting, Inc (ISCI). Karnita explained how she utilized VT Docs for both business and professional growth.
When Karnita joined ISCI, the company had less than 5% use of
VT Docs. However, she quickly realized that VT Docs had the potential to transform numerous areas of the business. So she got to grips with the solution, and won 100% of the proposals she worked on. And she secured a promotion. All within her first six months in the business. You can read more about that specific journey in a second blog post here.
Karnita’s team now uses VT Docs in all proposals, contracts, task orders and in the PMO. She’s working on VT Docs training for ISCI’s wider family American Management Group (AMG).
This blog explores how Karnita worked with the solution to achieve these results. She also shared a few tips for anyone looking to make a similar impact in their organization.
Using VT Docs’ features to go beyond the compliance matrix
Creating compliance matrices by hand is time-intensive and
resource-heavy. When Karnita joined the business, she discovered that ISCI had access to VT Docs. But no-one had run a Compliance Matrix in over a year. She saw an opportunity to use the solution to shred Request for Proposals (RFPs) in seconds. By automating the compliance matrix process, she realized that she could save a lot of time.
And she didn’t stop there. Once Karnita was taught how to use
VT Docs, she customized the Contract Kickoff dictionary, and started
shredding contracts. She utilized free VT University courses to learn.
Karnita then used the Kickoff Matrix to quickly understand and track deliverables, reporting frequency, staffing capacity and needs. As a newcomer into the business, this enabled her to speak authoritatively with the executive team about the PMO. Which led to buy-in from executive management, as well as extra proposal support.
The Responsibility Matrix
VT Docs scans your documents for relevant keywords. It then automatically generates a Responsibility Matrix, highlighting instances of those keywords broken down by team. Karnita used this feature for its core purpose, and she also used it to create RACI matrices. The RACI model is a tool used for identifying roles and responsibilities. The acronym stands for responsible, accountable, consulted, informed. Running the Responsibility Matrix gives her the “R”. Once she has that, it’s then easy for her to fill in the rest of the RACI.
Karnita discovered that using VT Docs made it clear who was responsible for each task in the proposal process. It also showed the executive team that she had a deep understanding of how the organization was supposed to run.
Track Changes is subject to human error, so Karnita uses Compare Docs for version control. It’s easy for her to track any modifications. It also impressed her CEO when someone in the organization forgot to use Track Changes. She was able to easily pull up a previous version of the proposal, and highlight the changes.
Run reports to review status changes
Using VT Docs’ Reports, Karnita can quickly track the progress of a proposal. She also uses this feature to identify if there are new compliance issues. It helps her to speak authoritatively with her team, and run more effective meetings.
Create project plans
Using the Contract Kickoff, Karnita was able to talk to PMs about their project plans. For PMs who needed support, she pointed them in the direction of VT Docs. She exported Excel sheets covering the areas each PM was responsible for, and created a sample Program Plan.
Assess the readability of proposals
As an advocate for plain language, Karnita appreciates
VT Docs’ Writer feature. She knows that people of all levels prefer plain language. And that proposals can be full of technical jargon. So she runs each proposal through the solution, which quickly scores the document for readability. Karnita finds that this feature helps her to have difficult conversations with her teams about their writing. As a result, the readability of proposals across the whole organization has improved.
Results and rewards
Taking this approach enabled Karnita to win 100% of the proposals she worked on. She secured a promotion, as well as respect from colleagues at all levels. And she improved the organization’s proposal management operations. All for no extra cost to the company. And within six months. She says:
The use of the solution saved me days’ worth of time and effort. This freed me up to explore how I could support other areas of the organization. My application of the Compliance Matrix to contract reviews and supporting PM plan development resulted in my promotion from Director of Proposal Operations to Director of the PMO.
Karnita shared some tips for anyone looking to enhance the use of solutions across the business.
1. Use them wisely
By using VT Docs more effectively, Karnita was able to make the proposal process much more efficient. She freed up time to collaborate with PMs, and improve processes. Her work was viewed positively by senior management and the CEO. This led to a promotion within just six months. Karnita’s advice is to take all the training on offer, and get to know what your solutions can do for you.
2. Make them your own
Once you understand your solution, you can play with its features and work out what’s possible. And don’t be afraid to customize. As we discussed, Karnita created her own dictionary within the Contract Kickoff.
Think beyond the obvious use cases. Ask yourself what benefits the features could yield in your entire organization. By thinking creatively, you might be able to solve problems in other parts of the business.
3. Share information
Don’t forget to communicate your findings. Karnita used VT Docs to provide colleagues with details of their programs and responsibilities. It demonstrated her understanding and support for their work. She also saved everyone time.
Karnita viewed VT Docs as a solution that could help the entire organization. This was instrumental in allowing executive management to see her promotion potential. We wrote a separate blog detailing the approach Karnita adopted to secure her promotion. Check it out here, and start tapping into VT Docs’ benefits for you and your business.