Stepping Up in the Absence of Capture Managers

I recently read an insightful article, Why Is the Length of Time That GovCon Capture Managers Stay with a Company Getting Shorter?, by Peter Lierni, CAP.APMP, CP.APMP. Peter indicated that, in the past, a capture manager in the government contracting arena usually stayed on a job for 18-24 months, but that time has decreased to a mere 6-9 months.

Even as capture managers come and go, their work remains. Program directors, program managers, and project managers are often charged with filling the gaps when the capture manager is unavailable. The question then becomes, how can organizations nurture, support, and empower program directors, program managers, and project managers to effectively bridge gaps while ensuring the company’s bids remain competitive and its projects are successful?

The answer lies in a multi-faceted approach focusing on training, support, and empowerment.

Tailored Training Programs

Companies must invest in training programs that encompass the strategic and tactical aspects of capture management to equip program directors, program managers, and project managers for their expanded roles. This involves understanding the government procurement process, developing strategies for bids and proposals, and managing customer relationships.

Structured Mentorship and Support Networks

Mentorship from experienced capture managers can provide invaluable insights and guidance to program directors, program managers, and project managers, helping them navigate the complexities of their expanded roles. Establishing a support network can facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, significantly easing the transition and fostering a culture of continuous learning.

Resource Accessibility

The right tools and resources are crucial for those stepping into capture management roles. This includes access to detailed customer databases, previously submitted proposals, competitive analysis reports, and even new artificial intelligence tools tailored to the bid and proposal industry.

Empowerment Through Decision-Making

Empowering program directors, program managers, and project managers with the authority to make critical decisions during the capture process can significantly enhance their effectiveness. This empowerment should be supported by clear communication of expectations and boundaries, ensuring they have the confidence to take decisive action when necessary. Additionally, fostering an environment encouraging innovation can lead to more innovative and competitive proposals.

Recognizing and Rewarding Efforts

Finally, recognizing and rewarding the efforts of those who take on additional responsibilities can go a long way in maintaining morale and motivation. Whether through formal recognition programs, opportunities for professional development, or financial incentives, acknowledging their hard work and dedication is crucial for fostering a culture of excellence.


As the role of capture managers in the government contracting arena becomes increasingly fluid, the need to support and empower program directors, program managers, and project managers has never been more critical. Lohfeld Consulting offers several services that can help. You can hire our skilled capture managers to lead captures, suggest capture best practices, or mentor your team. We also offer relevant classes to support your capture teams:

By investing in the development and support of program directors, program managers, and project managers, companies ensure a resilient and adaptive approach to capture management challenges.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and YouTube(TM) .

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Brenda Crist