About the APMP BOK


The APMP Body of Knowledge (BOK) represents the collected wisdom of the world’s leading professionals in proposal, bid, and opportunity management and business development.

It is a resource for professionals at all levels, from production team members through senior management. The best practices collected here are designed to apply to diverse and wide-ranging geographies, business sizes, and procurement environments.

A list of best practices forms the backbone of each APMP BOK chapter. These are considered the most important things business development professionals should know about each topic in the APMP BOK. In many chapters, you can deepen your understanding by reading explanations of recent trends in a given space, how best practices can be applied in diverse environments, and common mistakes to avoid.

The APMP BOK is available to all APMP members as part of their membership.

Business Development Best Practices

Best practices are the core of each APMP BOK topic. The topics are grouped into seven categories, which represent key practice areas for improving an organization’s business development focus.

  • Understand Business Development
  • Focus on the Customer
  • Create Deliverables
  • Lead Your Team
  • Manage Processes
  • Train Your Staff
  • Use Tools and Systems

Each topic follows a parallel structure. Topics may contain the following sections (however, not every topic contains every section):

  • Introduction – A summary of content at a high level and explain its importance to the proposal or business development process.
  • Best Practices –Key points that business development professionals should know about a particular topic.
  • Application in Diverse Environments – Implications of a topic in small, medium, and large settings; worldwide geographies; and industry, commercial, and government settings worldwide.
  • Recent Trends – Emerging trends or challenges unique to this subject, including new approaches that streamline processes and improve competitiveness.
  • Common Pitfalls and Misconceptions – A key section for professionals looking to improve their skills, an outline of common traps to avoid.
  • Summary – A quick overview of the most important information presented in a topic.
  • Terms to Know – Terms related to a topic that proposal developers should know.
  • Tools and Templates – Templates, charts, and examples that you can download and use for your own work.
  • See Also – Other sections of the APMP BOK that relate to a topic.
  • References – Research-based references used to compile this information.
  • Further Study – Additional sources readers can investigate for more information on a topic.

How the APMP BOK Was Built


The APMP BOK was designed to be an independent, vendor-neutral industry reference. It is an all-encompassing resource reflecting the diversity of our membership. So, to build the APMP BOK, we started with our members.

We issued a call for contributors in spring 2014. Of the more than 100 APMP members who responded, 34 authors were chosen. We selected authors, who came from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds, for their expertise in relevant business development topics and for the approach they proposed in their offers to write.

Writers provided content in a standard format and were asked to base their submittals on research-based publications of industry best practices. An editorial team organized authors’ submissions and edited them for grammar, clarity, and style.

Authors’ work was then reviewed by a Blue Ribbon Panel, a select group of 24 recognized industry experts that represented the diverse APMP membership. The Blue Ribbon Panel reviewed and approved all APMP BOK content consistent with cited research-based publications and the Business Development Capability Maturity Model (BD-CMM 2.0) created by Shipley Associates. This review further ensured the vendor-neutrality, broad applicability, and validity of best practices contained in the APMP BOK.

The APMP BOK is now available for you to read and study. But like all wikis, the APMP BOK is a living document; it is never truly complete. As new best practices in business development emerge, trends come and go, or procurement regulations change, we will update the APMP BOK to ensure that it remains relevant—and as useful as possible for business development and proposal professionals like you.

Would you like to suggest a change or make a contribution to the APMP BOK? Learn how here.



  • Saadi Adra
  • Krishnakumar Iyer, CPP APMP
  • Ed Alexander, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Colleen Jolly, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Stan Balfour
  • Henk Kamps, CP APMP
  • David Bol, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Nancy Kessler, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Neil Cobb, APMP Fellow
  • Marsha Lindquist, CF APMP
  • Brenda Crist, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Jonathan Myerov, CPP APMP
  • Charlie Divine, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Larry Newman, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Tiffany Donovan, CP APMP
  • Howard Nutt, APMP Fellow
  • Brad Douglas, CF APMP
  • Lisa Pafe, CPP APMP
  • Kristin Dufrene, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Mike Parkinson, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Lisa Faherty-Vance
  • Elaine Perea
  • Bill Foster
  • Sandy Pullinger, CPP APMP
  • Wendy Frieman, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Bob Reynolds, CPP APMP
  • Amy Goldstein
  • Jeannette K. Waldie, CPP APMP
  • Tom Gorman, CF APMP
  • David Warley, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Eric Gregory, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Beth Wingate, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Mike Humm, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Inas Younis, CP APMP

Blue Ribbon Panel

  • Sunil Agrawal, CF APMP
  • Henk Kamps, CP APMP
  • Essam Bakr, CP APMP
  • Martin Kaye, CP APMP
  • Vicki Bien
  • Amy McGeady, CPP APMP
  • Betsy Blakney, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Isabel Moritz, CP APMP
  • Richard Buijs, CPP APMP Fellow
  • Joe O’Neill, CPP APMP
  • Sally Buttery, CP APMP
  • Neil Philipsson, CP APMP
  • Robin S. Davis, CF APMP Fellow
  • Kelli Stephenson, CF APMP Fellow
  • Melissa DeMaio, CF APMP Fellow
  • Norbert Thiemermann, CPP APMP
  • Tiffany Donovan, CP APMP
  • Vneet Tuli, CF APMP
  • Peggy Dufour, CPP APMP
  • Terry Waitzman-Bannister, CPP APMP
  • Wendy Freiman, CPP APMP
  • Jeannette Waldie, CPP APMP
  • Lee Hendrickson, CPP APMP
  • Jon Williams, CPP APMP Fellow

Editorial Team

  • Dragonfly Editorial: Writing, Editing, Graphic Design, Proofreading, and Project Management
  • Catapult Creative: Web Design and Development
  • APMP: Charlie Divine, CPP APMP Fellow

How to Use the APMP BOK

The APMP BOK consists of 51 topics divided into 7 categories, each describing a different key aspect of business development practice.

You can read the APMP BOK in any order you choose. However, if you are new to the world of business development, we recommend starting with Introduction to the Business Development Lifecycle.

As you read through the APMP BOK, you will discover that many topics contain areas of overlap. At the end of most topics, you will find a list of other topics with related content as well as links you can use to move from one topic to another.


Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus.If you want to learn more about a specific business development concept but aren’t sure where to look, just use the search bar. The search function returns results from all topics in the APMP BOK.


The APMP BOK uses terminology established by the APMP Glossary. Glossary terms used within topics will appear with hyperlinks. Hover over a term to see its definition and any equivalent terms. View the complete APMP Glossary now.

Tools and Templates

Many APMP BOK sections contain tools and templates, editable downloads you can use and modify for your own work. To view a tool or template, simply click the link and download the file.


We welcome your feedback on the APMP BOK. If you would like to suggest a change to a topic, click the gray “Comment” button in the top-left corner of a topic page. In your comments, be sure to indicate:

  • The topic you are commenting on
  • The section within the topic you are commenting on
  • Whether you would like to suggest a change or add new information
  • Proposed new text or suggested changes to the text
  • Reference for new information, if applicable

Please focus your review on substantive content, looking for gaps in information and areas where you can add value. Please be complete in your comments, providing fully informative content for the gap rather than just identifying the gap.

We are especially interested in continual updates that you may be able to provide from your perspective for the Application in Diverse Environments and Recent Trends sections.

Editors may edit comments for clarity and conciseness, tone and voice, consistent attributions and references, APMP Glossary–standard terms, and organization of content.