Strawman Proposals

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Below we discuss:

  • What a Strawman Proposal is
  • Why you might want to create a Strawman Proposal
  • How to create a Strawman Proposal

What is a Strawman Proposal

  • It is a problem-solving tool used in a group setting.
  • The point of building a Strawman Proposal is to knock it down and rebuild something better.
  • The premise behind building a Strawman Proposal is to create a first draft for criticism and testing, and then using the feedback you receive to develop subsequent iterations, and eventually a final outcome that is rock solid.

Why Bother to Build a Strawman Proposal

  • Sometimes it’s easier to brainstorm possible solutions when you have somewhere to start.
  • It can help you get started versus getting bogged down seeking perfection.
  • It involves other stakeholders in the building of the proposal.

How to Build a Strawman Proposal

  1. Create a draft proposal.
  2. Present your draft to the rest of the team.  Make sure the team understands that the intent is to use it as a discussion starter, and is not the final product or solution.
  3. Knock the strawman down.  Invite feedback and criticism to create the next iteration of the proposal.
  4. Build your proposal back up again.
  5. Test the proposal against your original objectives
  6. Repeat as necessary until you reach your objective.

Three Things to Remember About Building a Strawman Proposal

  1. Make sure everyone knows what you are doing.
  2. Check your final solution against your assumptions.
  3. Eventually you’re going to have to commit to a final proposal.  You can’t produce a Strawman Proposal in perpetuity.

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