Analyzing the Key Themes: Collaboration, Time Management, and the Need for Change

On February 23rd, VisibleThread hosted Optimize23, our virtual conference that shared the latest insights in Contracting, Business Development, and Proposal Management. With over 20 speakers and 8 hours of content, the conference covered a wide range of topics. Wouldn't it be interesting to analyze the entire conference for key themes and discussion points? VT Docs to the rescue!
Micheál McGrath

Head of Marketing

3 min read
Optimise23 Talk Themes

Our team exported the transcriptions of each session. We uploaded these documents into our VT Docs solution and in seconds we were able to use thematic discovery and natural language processing to pull out the common keywords. 108,180 unstructured words analyzed in seconds. In this clever view above we can see exactly which themes were discussed in the majority.

The top five keywords were:

  1. Team – 272 uses
  2. People – 214 uses
  3. Time – 212 uses
  4. Process – 123 uses
  5. Change – 115 uses


Unsurprisingly, “Team” and “Process” consumed the days discussion. Collaboration was a key theme that emerged throughout and successful cross-collaboration between different teams was identified as a critical factor for success. Communication and open collaboration were highlighted as essential for successful contracting, especially between Business Development, Capture, and Proposal Management teams.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

Our People:

The topic of “Time” and the lack of, was a major pain point for many of the speakers and collaborators. It appeared that businesses are trying to achieve an active goal of improving efficiencies and reducing manual efforts. For two reasons this seemed prevalent on the day. 

Firstly, to be more optimized in the hope to achieve additional success. There’s an understanding that in our sectors, time could be better spent. Often speakers would note that’s there’s a goal to be more strategic in their normal workday.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of organizations will implement structured automation to deliver flexibility and efficiency, an increase from 20% of organizations in 2021.

“Automation is essential for I&O to scale for the rising demands of digital business. I&O automation technologies can support IT in enabling speed to market, increasing business agility, ensuring compliance with security and regulatory requirements, and optimizing service costs.”

Secondly, for wellness and retainment of staff. “People” also being a standout keyword. Mairi Morrison, a Senior Proposal Consultant of Strategic Proposals, emphasized that “more than 1 in 7 proposal people work over 50 hours each week”, which is not sustainable. This highlights the need to find ways to optimize time management in contracting and proposal management.

Despite HR professionals making employee mental health a top priority, their efforts are falling short. On average, a quarter of employees report experiencing burnout symptoms, according to a McKinsey Health Institute survey of nearly 15,000 workers across 15 countries.

Time to Change:

Finally, the importance of “Change” was also highly noted. The need for organizations and teams to adapt and evolve was a recurring theme. Optimize23 shared lots of advantages of change and highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit in many of our practitioner speakers.

“There is a wave of automation that we have never seen before in our industry. We need to get on the highway.”

There’s a lot to contend with at the moment, an influx in technology and artificial intelligence (AI), a new work environment (hybrid / remote), reductions in staff, and a fluctuating economy. Individuals are embracing opportunities to reset and look at their practice in new lights. How can we get better and how can I accelerate my career? There’s a lot of innovation happening in these sectors, many are refusing to be left behind.

"I'm not afraid of AI taking my job. I'm afraid of someone who can use it better, taking my job."

Learn how to do this type of analysis:

Discovery in VT Docs is a reimagining of how you approach gap analysis in complex documentation. Driven by artificial intelligence (AI), this feature set automatically isolates key themes across multiple files spanning hundreds of pages to reduce risk—a tedious task that can be error-prone when done manually.

But the reality for most organizations today is that this analysis remains a completely manual process. Contract managers, proposal managers, quality managers, and program managers all need to identify risk and compliance issues in documents. The risk itself may vary but the result of introducing risk to a proposal is always costly.

Take a look at the video below to learn more:


Book a Demo