Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Secret to Saving $$$ on Your Next Project

You have a new presentation or proposal to do. Where will you spend the most money? I'm guessing your answer is labor cost. The author(s) of the presentation or proposal spend countless hours coming up with the best way to show that you and your company are the best-of-the-best. Your presentation or proposal needs to show that you have the winning solution so you or your team write, tweak, rewrite, rearrange, and review again and again to get it right. That costs a lot of money.

How do you spend less money (and time)? Visualize the solution first. It is guaranteed to work and here is why:
  1. It helps you find holes. You can see where there is a gap in logic, the process, and/or the solution.
  2. It Gets everyone on the same page—fast. Everyone has to agree to this approach early in the development vs. later, which creates much more work.
  3. If you and your team can visualize the solution, you can quickly write to it. You can paint a vivid picture and tell a compelling story that is unforgettable.
Simply make a rough sketch (no art degree needed) that you can explain to anyone. Stick figures are fine. The intent is to make sure that everyone involved (you, your team, your boss) pictures the same thing.

We are visual creatures. We remember and connect with imagery far better than facts and figures. Painting a picture that tells a story is the fastest way to success. Andy Bounds, the author of The Jelly Effect: How to make your communication stick said it best when he stated, "Facts tell and stories sell."

In addition to lowering cost, visualizing the solution first has other benefits which include: increased moral, less miscommunication, better teamwork, and more time to focus on other important tasks that inevitably pop up.

Visualize the solution first and I guarantee that your labor costs will drop.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Billion Dollar Win for My Client!

KC-X, a USAF contract that covers 175 production aircraft and 4 test platforms for their new aerial tanker fleet, is a BIG win for any company. The first phase alone is likely to reach $35+ billion over 25 years!

My client, Northrop Grumman, was awarded the multi-billion dollar contract. Boeing may protest the decsion and time will tell what the USAF decides. Either way, graphics were a big part of the proposal and will play a siginificant roll in the final decision.

Thanks to a dedicated team of technical experts, managers, graphic designers (from companies including Northrop Grumman and 24 Hour Company), the proposal was a success. Congratulations to everyone on the team!