How "Lean Thinking" Could Revolutionize the Proposal Process

October 08, 2020
8:45 AM - 10:45 AM
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Zoom Meeting


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$15 Registration for SMPS Members
$30 Registration for Non-Members

The way we consume information has changed. Brevity and graphical content is our norm. So why do we use the same stale proposal formats we’ve used for decades? A/E/C firms prepare 20 - 50+ page proposals for projects of all sizes because owners require them in response to tired RFQs and RFPs. Owners complain they review dozens of proposals that read and look almost identical. A/E/C firms lament assembling lengthy proposals that can't possibly be read in detail.

But this stale approach is experiencing some disruption. Among the disruptors is Lean's A3 Thinking – using 11” x 17” sheets of paper. Long used by other industries as a decision-making tool, some owners now require A3s in lieu of traditional proposals. These submissions force firms to provide concise and curated information, eliminating boilerplate and using sophisticated graphics in the presentation, including infographics and other graphical elements. Some owners also use A3s to review design options and for project status reporting.

Savvy firms are incorporating A3s into proposals without being asked for them, using A3s for executive summaries or to present complex data. This approach allows A/E/C firms to introduce owners to the benefits of A3s, paving the trail for future A3-only submissions.


Ann M. Leiner

Founder & Chief Connection Officer
Stacey & Associates, LLC

An SMPS member since 1999, Ann founded Stacey & Associates in 2004. Her firm connects building owners with A/E/C professionals through creative marketing and business development strategies. For the last several years, Ann has helped design and construction firms as well as construction owners better understand the value of lean proposal and project management processes.



Refund Policy
Refunds for cancellations made two business days (48 hours) in advance of an event will be provided and are subject to a $5.00 processing fee. Contact Dayna Abbott via email with requests.