A project proposal is a document that facilitates a professional relationship between an organization and outside contributors. Typically, a project proposal is an initial framework for establishing the concept of the project. It also includes what you want to accomplish, an explanation of objectives, and plans for achieving them. It is common for a project proposal to include a list of activities or tasks that will be associated with the project. Also, illustrate the significance of this specific project idea, and explain the origins of this project.
Project Proposal Outline
Section 1: Project Information
This section intends to provide a high-level picture of the project as well as convey the most critical project details.
Include the following in this section:
- Name of the Organization
- Project Title
- Project Summary
- Project Timeframe
- Prepared By
- Attached Documentation
- Project Contacts (any individuals involved in the project)
Section 2: Project Summary
The goal of this section is to present the reasons for doing this project as well as stating all of the objectives. In this section, in particular, it is very important to write concisely and clearly. Some project professionals even suggest writing the project summary last.
Before you begin writing, you should be able to answer the following questions.
- Why are you doing this project?
- What will you be doing?
- How will you be doing it?
- Who will be doing it?
- Where will it be done?
- Project BackgroundThis section of the proposal requires a few succinct sentences that clarify the problem your proposal is tackling. Here, it is critical to explain the current state of the problem and why your audience should care about solving it. Make sure to include references and statistics in this section. The best practice is to keep this no longer than 1 page.
- Project ObjectivesUse this section of the proposal to explicitly list the goals that the project is trying to achieve.
Section 3: Project Methodology
The project methodology section of a proposal is where you detail the plan for how the objectives mentioned in the previous section will be achieved. This is the first section of the proposal that details the course of action to remedy the problem and is meant to prove that adequate research has been done for this decision. To start, outline the methodology being used, the population being addressed, and establish the process for reaching your objectives.
This section is typically broken into three parts:
- The Project Approach SummaryUse a few sentences to describe the overall approach to the project. This includes how the team will be organized, what tools will be used, and how changes will be addressed during execution.
- Task Breakdown and Time EstimatesThis is the section of the proposal where a detailed project schedule is presented. To start, make a list of tasks that are required for the project as well as an estimation of the hours required to complete each one. From there, you can take a look at your resource pool and allocate your team accordingly.
- Project DeliverablesThis is where you list out all the deliverables you expect to see after the project is closed. For example, this could be products, information, or reports that you plan to deliver to a client. Ensure that each deliverable has an associated estimated delivery date.
Section 4: Project Risk Management This section is dedicated to managing change during project execution. Clients know that a proposal rarely covers everything that is required to achieve the given project, so change management techniques are required.
This section is broken into two parts:
- Risk Management PlanA detailed plan of action to minimize the chance of risk or change during the project lifecycle.
- Risk register a line-item list of risks and potential counter efforts that will be used to counteract these risks.
Section 5: Project Costs
This section is dedicated to estimating the overall cost of the proposed project.
This section is broken into three major parts:
- Project BudgetThis should be a detailed, line-item budget broken up by different project categories, such as travel, salary, or supplies. Ensure all overhead or indirect costs are also included in the budget.
- Budget NarrativeThis is a brief list of commentaries on the budget if any further clarification or justification is needed.
- Additional Financial StatementsSome projects, depending on complexity, will require additional financial statements like a profit and loss statement, a tax return, or funding sources.
Section 6: Conclusion
The conclusion section of a project proposal intends to be a brief review of all the points already discussed. This is your last chance to win over your audience, so ensure that you incorporate the most important evidence to receive approval. This is also the final moment to prove you have adequately researched all solutions and your proposed method is the best for business.
Section 7: Appendix
This section is dedicated to any additional charts, graphs, images, or reports that were cited in the proposal. Many times, referenced material will go into the appendix as it does not naturally fall into the main body copy of the proposal.
Determine your project proposal type first for an effective presentation and make sure your proposal targets your audience and clearly defines the problems it will solve. Follow the seven sections of a proposal to more effectively convince your audience, and if you have any inquiries, visit HERE.