What are color team reviews, and how do they relate to proposal preparation?

  • June 27, 2023

To make a competitive proposal, an iterative review process is required that ensures the project is going in the right direction. This includes content, clarity, answering all required sections or questions outlined in the solicitation, and creating compelling copy that will not confuse or fatigue the reviewers. The color review system can be beneficial for determining at what stages of the proposal reviews should occur and who should be involved. Nonetheless, it can get a little confusing. Here is an explanation of what color reviews the EBHC team uses and why.

Blue Team proposal review

The blue team review is a pre-review. This review occurs before a product is built. This review asks questions like “do we have all the necessary tools and information to complete the project”, “does it align with customer needs” and “do we have a realistic and manageable plan for building out this product”? For proposal prep, this means ensuring we have all required registrations for the client.

All documentation needed to begin drafting the application, our schedule for meetings and deliverables, and the primary contact person have been determined. Since it is not necessary for the entire team to review if the above requirements have been met, this review takes place between the proposal preparation liaison and the client.

Pink Team Review

The pink team review occurs when the proposal is about 65-70% done. The pink team review addresses content and identifies gaps in the proposal. This review is meant to focus on content and identify what could be done to strengthen the application. Grammar and formatting will be addressed in subsequent reviews. This review includes the entire EBHC team for critical review. The application is then submitted back to the client with recommendations for revision. Ideally, the pink team review gets the document ready for the red team review.

Red Team proposal Review

By the time the proposal gets to the red team review stage, it should be nearing completion (85-90% complete). The document should have final figure labels, graphics, tables, data, and all required attachments. Spelling and grammar should be in its final state. All narrative sections should be reviewed for clarity and scored against the merit review criteria presented by the funder. Any discrepancies or gaps should be flagged and corrected.

Gold Team Review

The gold team review is the final review in the EBHC proposal preparation review process. At this stage, there should be no errors. The EBHC team will have all deemed the proposal as compelling and competitive as possible, and the client will have also reviewed the document for completion and clarity. No touch-ups should be required after the gold team review. At this point, all documents should be ready for upload in the proper format.

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