A Well-Framed Proposal

We use the idea of mentally “framing” something all the time. It’s all about making decisions on what to include or exclude from the idea, and what point of view to apply to it.

An eXie frame does exactly that, and because it does, the same frame can be a strong guide both to people who produce relevant information, and people looking for the content that has already been produced.

An eXie frame makes it simple to communicate what kind of information should be made available to give a good full coverage of a subject.  And, as we gain more experience with what works well or doesn’t, we become more expert about what to make the frame identify and communicate.

For example, this eXie template for a frame shows key considerations about something that will “develop” or “run” over time. The basic guidance here is the same whether the user of the information is planning an event or trip, or designing a large project.

Thinking ahead is especially critical to the success of a proposed event or effort, if the opportunity is very limited or if it is possible only with the support of other people. Supporters need to know how the issues they care about are addressed by your idea. And as we have often heard, there may be “time and will to do it right, but not enough of either to do it over…”

Naturally, at the beginning of the actual effort to plan or design, there is possibly no useful information collected yet. We might be working on something that we’ve never done before. So we have a “blank slate” — but with an eXie template the “slate” already informs us about what is relevant to research and describe.

Proposal DesignTemplate

This means that even if we don’t create the information ourselves, we know what to ask for from other parties as contributions. Other parties can see the entire template as well, and quickly identify areas where they feel they may be able to contribute.

One of the additional interesting effects will be that more than one contributor can provide relevant content at the same time. This happens in two important ways:

  1. Even information not yet needed can be collected early on, which means that contributors can get involved as soon as they are ready.
  2. Any information contributed to a given area can be compared with other contributions to that same area.

Comparing contributions in a given area is a great opportunity to look for the “best of”, and that can appear by comparing content from previous efforts to current content, as well as by comparing multiple contributions of current content. Also, any contribution made earlier may reveal a need to be updated or replaced.

Speaking of modifications: since a template itself can be modified, people with expertise in the type of thing to be planned or designed are potentially great co-designers of the template.

And once a template is saved as a frame, populated with content, and shared , it is a reliable “knowledge-base” view of the collected content, for anyone who wants to pursue a similar event or effort in the future. Potential supporters can quickly and easily see how things are accounted for, and potential participants see how anything they offer will actually be important. This clear, organized arrangement of the description makes it easy to understand both what has been done in the past as well as what might be done in the future.