In 1993, the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Air Traffic Systems Development (AUA) found that delays in procuring funding from the federal government were preventing the FAA and other government agencies from keeping current with even the most affordable state-of-the-art systems. The procurement delays were a simple case of slow moving bureaucratic processes.
To address this problem the AUA initiated several new methods to help streamline procurement. The most beneficial was the use of videotaped oral technical proposals. Using videotaped proposals, AUA focused on presenting only information that represented key technical differences between proposals in search of funding. By cutting down on the amount of information used in proposals, AUA was able to exclude the normal bounty of material that described routine proposal aspects.
In addition to videotaped proposals, AUA required that key personnel appear and make oral presentations. The purpose of these appearances was to allow personnel to address complex technical requirements and answer pertinent questions. These techniques enabled AUA to reduce proposals that would have been literally thousands of pages in length to a much more manageable and quicker presentation of information.
Since the first use of oral proposals, these methods have saved the FAA over five-hundred staff days. AUA's presentations have had a minimal impact on the offices in which proposals were assessed. These factors have resulted in a reduction of seven to nine months, on average, for procurement of funding. AUA's innovation has received widespread media coverage and at least three other government agencies have taken up its new practice. A combination of technology and methodological innovation has eliminated AUA's inefficiency.