AI has undeniably become a transformative force in government contracting (GovCon), significantly impacting processes like capture management and proposal development. The general discussion around AI focuses on job displacement, but we should focus on how it empowers professionals to transition from ‘busy work’ to strategic value and problem-solving.
‘Busy work,’ often misconstrued as productivity, tends to consume significant resources in the GovCon sector without contributing substantial value. The insightful words of JJ Delgado highlight this conundrum: “People will have more time to think. I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing.” This brings us to the crucial role of AI technologies like ChatGPT. This is where AI technology like ChatGPT can significantly contribute, shifting the focus from execution-based roles to those requiring critical thinking and strategic acumen.
These tools, capable of routine tasks such as RFP analysis, document handling, compliance streamlining, create space for professionals to focus on strategic, and value-driven activities. This shift, discussed in my LinkedIn article, “The Unseen Power of Intangible Benefits: Demonstrating Value Over Importance,” goes beyond tangible returns, invoking a value definition encompassing intangible benefits.
For instance, take the scenario where a proposal development team leverages tools like ChatGPT and VisibleThread. With VisibleThread’s advanced features, which have supported the industry even before the arrival of ChatGPT, teams can efficiently create compliance and responsibility matrices. This efficiency, combined with the time saved by using ChatGPT for mundane tasks, provides additional bandwidth to refine the proposal strategy and develop a compelling value proposition.
Furthermore, the peace of mind derived from knowing that AI tools like ChatGPT and VisibleThread handle compliance checks enables team members to focus more on strategic decision-making, thus fostering innovation. These systems, working together, enhance the overall process by automating routine tasks while ensuring accuracy and compliance, freeing up team members to channel their efforts toward more value-driven, strategic initiatives.
The insights derived from AI augment the team’s collective expertise, guiding strategic decisions. Plus, the time and energy saved enable relationship-building, another intangible value. These intangible benefits illustrate how AI’s adoption in GovCon can create value beyond immediate, tangible returns, and driving strategic advancement.
However, is it good for the workforce to have more time to think? I think it depends on how we harness this newfound cognitive bandwidth. It can yield significant rewards when channeled correctly toward problem-solving, strategic thinking, and innovation. Conversely, failure to do so could result in missed opportunities.
A successful transition from ‘busy work’ to strategic thinking necessitates a culture of continuous learning and improvement. As Elon Musk said, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” AI allows us to move beyond ‘busy work,’ focusing on the extensive value of critical thinking and strategic problem-solving.