Writing Lean / Agile Proposals

12 Jul 2011 - 3:23pm
5 years ago
2 replies
2198 reads
Audrey Crane

I wonder if anyone has anything they're willing to share about what's worked for them in writing successful proposals for agile / lean clients?

I find myself writing shorter and shorter proposals, because I'm just trying to write through what I know will happen. For example, I know we'll do one round of usability research, but then depending on the number and size of changes, we might implement changes in dev, or do another revision to the prototype.

Clients like it because it's pretty efficient (they only pay for what we know for sure they need), but it makes budgeting and planning hard for them.

For us, there's more overhead in proposal writing and obviously we have the same planning problem.

The only alternative I can think of is a more time-and-materials approach, but I always try to avoid proposals without something specific we'll be delivering (otherwise I feel like a huckster).

Anyone have an approach that minimizes the multiple proposal writing but also focuses your time and energy only and exactly on what's most important and efficient and that clients are comfortable and happy with?

Thanks in advance!


12 Jul 2011 - 4:16pm

You might try a flat fee, based on the time to complete the number of iterations you expect to need for the project. 

You basically treat your [self/team/company] like a fluid resource, and dole out certain quantities of "everything you can do" in fixed amounts. 

Something like saying "We'll move heaven and earth to meet your needs - but you only get six weeks of that". 

They may not care or need to know (in the proposal) EXACTLY what you intend to do, just that you know what you're doing, you're covering the services they asked for (usability study, wireframes, prototyping, etc).

If I had my druthers, the art of proposal writing would be the next big iphone app - if you can't read one on a phone, it's too long. =]

Good luck!

12 Jul 2011 - 4:38pm
Audrey Crane

I think the fluid resource option is the same as what I described as time-and-materials, but realistically that may be the only way to go...

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