Over a light lunch of crab cakes and water, my lunch companion, deep in the local mining scene, remarked as follows—not his exact words, but as well as I can recall.
Things are getting bad for the big consultants. Individuals are getting concerned about their jobs and managers are getting concerned about themselves and their departments. The result is this: we are seeing more and more proposals coming from the big guys in which the proposal is stuffed with unnecessary workers and tasks. The cause is the desire to keep each department and each individual engaged, billable, and employed. They don’t read the RFP; or if they do they still seek to expand the scope by putting in tasks that unneeded departments and offices can do. The result is pencil sharpening in the wrong direction: more up than down, and more down than up as they seek to be the winning bidder.
A sobering reminder to all of us of the need to read and respond to the RFP item by item; not to pad beyond what is asked for; and to give the client what they ask for even if you believe they need and deserve more. And you are convinced you can deliver for all the wrong reasons.