A project proposal is a core document that provides all the information needed for a potential sponsor or stakeholder to initiate a project. It is basically a request for financial assistance or permission to implement a project. The proposal indicates the plans of the implementing organization, the intention for its implementation and results to be delivered. A technical background, survey results and feasibility information are also included in the proposal.
The main goal of the project proposal is to approve the funds or grant the offeror the permission to conduct the proposed project. In the academe, a project proposal is complied by an undergraduate in compliance to a subject or submitted before conducting a research study. But it basically has the same goal as that of a business project proposal. It needs to convince the offeree to give the offeror an approval to implement a project.
Project proposals must include information that enables the offeree to approve of the project as well as hiring the offeror of the project as project manager. You may also see Presentation Outline Writing Tips.
In lieu of a project being needed by a company, a public service announcement is made in order to attract a number of proposals. Proposals are then written and submitted by interested companies and individuals with their qualifications, cost and schedules of the project. A discussion about their approach going into the project is also discussed.
A project proposal is unique to each project. They have different processes and functions but still serve the same purpose. Here are some of the types of a project proposal:
An internal proposal is written by interested individuals within the company or organization who want to take part in the bidding process. Usual steps like qualifications are skipped since basic information about the proponent are already in the company file.
The proposal is written by an independent organization or individual who wants to partake the implementation of a project. A company or an individual proposes to acquire the rights to implement a project to another company of individual.
Simply put, a solicited proposal is a directly requested proposal by the company. However, proposals can be solicited in a very local level. For example, when you suggest to your boss that a new ventilation system should be installed and your boss agrees with your proposal, he/she might request you to make the project proposal yourself.
This proposal is submitted with the intention of building a connection with the company. It is a proposal given by the offeror even without a request for such. Most unsolicited proposals need to convince the company for a need of the products and services proposed by the offeror.
The introduction of your proposal must indicate that the document is in fact a proposal. It must also indicate the reference of the source of information about the project. The introduction should be able to capture the offeree’s attention in order for him/her to read through the entire proposal and consider pushing through with the project. Most importantly, it must give a clear overview about the contents of the proposal.
The background discusses what has brought the need for the project– what the problem is, how can things be improved and what the basic situation is. If the proposal is unsolicited, having a background is basically a requirement as you probably need to convince the offeree that a problem exists and it should be addressed.
In this part, you discuss the advantages the project will bring to the offeree. It serves as an argument in favor of getting the project approved. In some proposals, the need to discuss a project’s success is also encouraged. The chances of getting the project done gives the offeree a visual of the project coming to life.
In most cases, the results or finished output of the project is described in the project proposal. Meaning you have to describe the project you propose to implement, its beneficiary and purpose. You also need to provide a description for the physical aspects of the project such measurements, volume, capacity, etc.
To add an additional persuasive element, you must discuss how you plan on going about the project. This means discussing the process, methods and procedure, and the theories applied in order to achieve the project. This section also serves as the technical background relating to the procedure or technology you plan to use on the project.
This section not only shows the duration or timeline of the project but also the key milestones that the project must achieve while on its way to completion. The dates as to when to submit progress reports are indicated in this section.
In most proposals, section dedicated to the offeror’s qualifications are required. It contains the basic information about the company or individual proposing the project. It’s like a mini-resume inside the proposal. In solicited proposals, however, a section for the offeror’s qualifications may no longer be required.
Whether internal or external, a section dedicated to the cost and needed resources is required. For external proposal, the offeror’s hourly fee, project hours, cost of equipment, supplies, etc. are listed in this section. With internal proposals, even though there is no fee, the offeror still needs to list hours needed to complete the project, needed equipment and supplies, assistance from other people in the organization, and so on.
In the conclusion of the proposal, the offeror must be able to bring the focus back on to the positive aspects of the proposal. The offeree must be reminded of the benefits of doing the project and reaffirm why the project should be implemented by you.
Research, research and more research! The best proposals are those that have been well researched. Apply all management skills and experiences you may have in defining the steps and process it may take to finish the project. Planning ahead will also help you polish your proposal and prepare you for detailed explanations from the offeree regarding the project.
Your executive summary must immediately win your offeree’s approval. It will be much harder for you if your summary does not ‘wow’ the offeree. Your executive summary must be able make the project sound exciting, address a problem that needs resolution and/or define an opportunity that can be profitable. As a summary, it is an overview of the overall project. Be sure to acknowledge an overview of the risks and issues inherent in the project. By acknowledging them up front in the summary, you can address how you’ll be able to alleviate them proactively, and avoid letting your offeree fret in a state of worry and what ifs.
You want to articulate the purpose and goals of the project as clearly as possible. Stick to pertinent facts in order to avoid getting lost in translation of your idea into writing. Don’t get creative. You proposal is not the time to display your word prowess. Your offeree needs a technical explanation on how the project will go and how to make it successful and worth the money.
Know the difference between a goal and an objective. Goals are broad, defining the project overall. But that doesn’t give you the excuse to be vague. Objectives are the defining details about how you can achieve those goals. Be sure that your objectives directly support your goals in a logical and practical way.
To make the offeree believe in your abilities, presenting past successful projects will help you convince them. You previous projects serves as the founding basis of your knowledge about the project. By relating your previous successes to the current project, you will be able to convince the offeree that the project is very much viable.
As mentioned above, a project proposal is a core document that provides all the information needed for a potential sponsor or stakeholder to initiate a project. Incorporating the wrong details will result in your proposal taking a one way trip to the trash bin. We hope you found our article on creating a project proposal to be informative as well helpful when you will be creating your own project proposal (for an employer or maybe for your own business) in the future.