All right, you've done everything right and now the award is being made. And guess what, you've won it. If it's a government award, then you likely most have received a formal legal letter or electronic communication to which you need to compose a response. However, if it is from business or industry, you may get a telephone call or email with congratulations and instructions on how to move forward. Regardless of how you received the award communication, there are few action steps to consider, such as reconnecting with the client, reaffirming the objectives, formalizing any changes, assigning the team of point of contact, getting through administrative details, setting a timeline and addressing other legal requirements. I will elaborate more on all of these steps so that after this lesson you will be able to consider an apply these actions in your future research proposal processes. Let's start by reconnecting with the client. You won the project now what? There's often a big difference between the RFP process, the proposal process and actual implementation. The teams may totally change. The person issuing the proposal or issuing the RFP or the request for research may not be involved with the project once it is implemented. And the person presenting the proposal or the research plan to the potential client may not be the person that's actually going to work on it. Once the award has been made, it is important to get the right players around the phone or around the table because if it is different people, you've gotta get the right people, talk to the right individuals right away. Many times, especially with governments and universities, the manager of procurement will issue the RFP and if you have questions, you've gotta go through this person. It's only because they want to keep it objective and clean. You'll never actually talk to the end clients until the award is given. When the award has been granted, all the players are legally allowed to work with each other. On the business side, the same thing often happens, where somebody like the director of operations or marketing will seek proposals. They'll get them back and select them, then the director of marketing will hand them off to a research assistant, marketing assistant or marketing person, or even the director of quality and so on. The research team whose totally new to it will be assigned and they've got a lot of important information to work through. They also have a number of relationships to re-establish. They also need to get the parameters straight. They've gotta make sure that the proposal matches, or is accepted. And that there's buy-in from the client because a lot could have changed between the proposal creation in the beginning of the actual research project. A client may need to articulate that this is no longer what they're looking for. We're actually looking for something more like this. Somewhere along the way, there needs to be some kind of official memo or just a brief statement for the client to say, we agree with your proposal or your timeline, please move ahead. There needs to be something fairly formal there. That leads to your next point. You have to reaffirm the objectives. You've got to make sure that you're on the same page and that what you promised them from the budget in the time frame is what they need and what they expect to pay and when they expect to get it. It's really a meeting of minds and managing expectations. And then you have to formalize any changes. You've got new team members, you've built rapport, you've got the parameters set, and you've built some buy-in. It's like building a house, or building an addition onto your house. You have a contracting team, they propose something and all the sudden somebody says, yeah well structurally we want to add on this roof and this garage here. And then you start making changes to it, and some of these changes are significant. All these details and differences need to be accounted for, if not tracked. The same holds for the research proposal in the plan to move forward. You need to account for changes and differences, and you need to seek agreement. Next is assigning the team and points of contact. Typically, you'll ask your client if they've assigned their project manager or their day to day contact that you'll be interacting and communicating with. You'll need somebody to work with on the details. It's them, or somebody from their team, but they need to officially assign them to you. You'll also need to officially assign your team. You, of course, already proposed your team, but since the proposal process, it could have been several months, and things may have changed there, as well. You either need to confirm that your team is still working on this project, or you need to confirm somebody else, or you need to basically restate your team in some manner or fashion. This is usually done by email or some written communication process. It's not part of a contract, but it's typically some sort of formal communication, or agreement, or buy in. Then you need to get through the administrative details. This is different for each client. For some folks, it's very simple. They just give you the green light. You get the official green light through an e-mail to move ahead. They've agreed upon all your terms. And you just fly with the research. And then you submit an invoice once it's all done and through. In the case of government proposals, you're going to have different relationship, where it's going to be in your best interests to at least have an email or written communication. To see who is assigned to you, when they're going to pay you, and their acknowledgement of that timeline that you presented to them originally. You're going to want to have a little bit of a paper trail here, even in an informal way. It could be as simple, or it could be very complicated. We have to sign contracts, agreements, memos and change orders. Especially on the government research side, you usually have to do a lot of administrative work. Ultimately, the amount any type of administrative work you need to complete to get the project going depends on the project, the client, and the industry sector.