How lean are your steps before writing an agile contracts and are todays proposals really as lean as they could be?-Is it may be possible to create a proposal on just ONE A4?

In my long time experience at delivery companies we were more and more allowed to close agile contracts. Main reason was that the customer was aware of booking an agile team, invoicing was in T+M and scope wasn’t really defined yet. However the offering process somehow still stayed the same: RfI >> RfP >> RfQ.


This meant a lot of effort fur as a delivery company. We had just a team of presales consultants and developers that mainly just did that. We had to create the answer to the Rfx documents, create milestone plans and cost estimations. Both based at no clear defined scope. Furthermore we usually implemented a customized demo application too.

Going through a classic offering process cost us for a bigger project an effort of usually 3-5 man months all-in
— Mirko Kleiner, ex VP Delivery of a Swiss software company

The through-put time from first request until we got the final notice quite often took 2-3 months. From both sides delivery company and customer this seemed to me a loose-loose situation. The customer might loose his window for time-to-market and also at his side the classic offering process needs a *lot of resources *over a long time. But what is the alternative?

The agile contract gives already the answer: We should focus more finding the best partner with the best matching resources we trust, than loosing opportunities while going through a sequencial process. Of course we still need to know do we have the right solution, that will resolve our problem and how long will it take and cost.

Therefor I see the following steps to achieve a* more lean offering process*:

  • 1st step: Setup of an agile x-functional evaluation team
  • 2nd step: New way of the definition of high-level requirements
  • 3rd step: A proposal on an 1 A4 only
  • 4th step: Isn’t there more than the A4?
  • 5th step: Agile process of Evaluation
  • 6th step: Bringing all together
  • 7th step: Starting the cooperation

My main 3 goals are ambitious as I’d like to create with this new toolset a* win-win situation* for customers and there partners:

  • Proposal document should take place at ONE A4 and with it’s predefined structure it makes it more easy to create and multiple proposals comparable
  • An evaluation per bidder should be finished within 1 day for both, so that trough-put time of whole evaluation is days and not weeks or months

Now, I’d like to invite you to vote (use comments and/or likes). What of the steps above sounds the most interesting to you to start with?