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 and 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, illustrate the significance of this specific project idea, and explain the origins of this project.
Types of Proposals
- Formally Solicited
A formally solicited project proposal is established in response to an official request for a new proposal. In this case, a Request for proposal (RFP) document is used to outline client demands and specific needs. A formally solicited proposal is the structured and specific response to said RFP. Having an RFP makes the entire proposal process easier. As the specifics are spelled out, project planning can prevent misunderstandings or a lack of information that may cause complications later.
- Informally Solicited
An informally solicited proposal does not require an RFP. That is, there is no specific document required to outline customer or audience demands. This is the initial rough starting point when proposing a project’s viability. The major differentiator between a formal and informal project proposal is the number of details involved in planning. Informal proposals lack granular project details, such as goals, deliverables, and methods. An informally solicited project proposal can be understood as a proposal request that is lacking specifics.
Unsolicited project proposals can be compared to a cold call — no one asked for or expected to receive one, but if the audience can relate to the proposal, it can prove extremely valuable. An unsolicited proposal is typically formed from more ad-hoc activities, such as an “aha” moment or an enlightening conversation with a customer. Unsolicited proposals can be the most difficult type to write, as you will have to put extra work in to convince the audience of the project’s viability. Many times, these proposals require the most research and the most finesse, as the audience is unaware that the proposal is even coming their way.
Continuation project proposals are essentially an update or reminder for ongoing and already approved projects. This type of proposal is the simplest to construct, as it is a continuation of already existing documentation. A continuation proposal can be thought of as a check-in with the audience to ensure the correct funds are provided for the next phase, as well as discussing progress and accounting for any changes before moving forward.
A renewal project proposal is required when an ongoing project has been terminated or the resources and support behind such a project can no longer be used. This proposal is more about proving that the return on investment is greater than the money being spent on resources so that the project can begin again.
A supplemental project proposal is required when more resources are required to complete a project than were originally proposed. The main goal of a supplemental proposal is to prove the value of adding resources and update the audience with a timeline based on this new plan. Many times, a supplemental proposal is required when the original project scope has grown beyond initial expectations. It can be seen as a continuation of the original proposal document.
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.