Meeting/Event Information

How "Lean Thinking" Could Revolutionize the Proposal Process

June 02, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Virtual Meeting

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/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

Learner Engagement: Participants will observe actual RFQ and RFP language and the results of those processes. They will learn the best practices of A3 use in professional selections from the Owner's Perspective as well as assess tips for A3 use from the A/E/C firm's perspective. Graphic samples of A3s for reporting, decision-making, project management, and professional selections will be showcased.

Format: This Lecture with Q&A educational session will include a brief overview of Lean as a technique in our industry as well as a description of how it is being applied in professional selections. We will include case studies, real-life scenarios for how and where it is used in RFQs and RFPs, demonstrate how technology can be used to implement the technique, and share examples of lessons learned by Owners and AEC professionals.

Who Should Attend:
Marketing Director
Marketing Manager
Marketing Staff
Business Development Director
Business Development Staff

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe how and where lean principles apply to the design and construction industry
  2. Demonstrate how A3 thinking is being used to streamline professional selections
  3. Share best practices and lessons learned from those who use A3s in selections
  4. Show how to balance strategic thinking and graphic design in A3 proposals
  5. Provide helpful hints on how to incorporate A3s in project management, decision-making, and reporting as well as to enhance traditional proposal formats

SMPS Domains of Practice (for CPSM)
4 - SOQs | Proposals

About the Speaker


Ann Leiner, Founder and Chief Connection Officer at 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.


$30.00 Member Registration

$45.00 Non-Member Registration