Nowadays, planning for a project is as important as creating a project proposal. You can’t just dive into the project blindly and realize at a later stage that it wasn’t worth investing in.
Thus, it is necessary to create a great project proposal for its success of it.
The more prepared you are the better it is for the team and decision-makers to achieve the goals and objectives of the company.
Therefore, here we’ve gathered a getting started guide to break down all the steps necessary to create a project proposal.
So, let’s begin!
What is a Project Proposal?
A project proposal can be defined as:
“The framework that enlists all the important information required for your project including its background, objectives, budgeting, etc. Moreover, it is the first step to establish a professional relationship between a company and outside contributors.”
Thus, typically a project proposal includes all the activities and tasks associated with the project along with a proper schedule and timeline. They provide all the estimated details required for the completion of the project.
So, if you want your project ideas to get approved, you’d need to draft the best proposal there is.
Therefore, in this article, we’ve shared how to create the perfect project proposal and some pro tips to nail it just the way it should be.
But wait! Let’s first take a look at the importance of the project proposal and some types of it.
Why do we need a Project Proposal?
There are many key benefits of having a project proposal. Let’s go through a few of them:
- It helps the decision-makers to take decisions objectively. The information provided in the proposal helps them to compare various vendors and take rational decisions.
- It provides a deep understanding of the scope and purpose of the project.
- It also helps to establish credibility by ensuring the decision-makers that the project is worth investing in.
- It makes them clear on the budget and the estimated timeline of the project.
- It is a great way to develop a transparent and non-ambiguous relationship between the client and the decision-makers.
- It helps to reach the final terms and conditions better.
Types of Project Proposals
There are different types of project proposals. Here’s is a quick description of each one of them!
- Solicited Project Proposal: A solicited proposal is written in response to a request for proposal (RFP). Such proposals come with specified guidelines from the project owners which you are supposed to follow.
- Unsolicited Proposal: It is the opposite of a solicited project proposal. You don’t need a request to send these proposals. A project owner can receive various proposals from different people.
- Informal Proposal: It is written at the client’s request without a formal request for proposal (RFP).
- Renewal Proposal: It is sent when you want to start the project again as it has run its course already. Data from past successful projects is used to validate your request to the stakeholders or executives.
- Supplemental Proposal: It is sent to the executives to request additional supplements for the execution of the project.
- Continual Proposal: It is written in continuation of an already approved project proposal. It is sent to update the stakeholders on the project progress and changes that might occur in the next phase of the project.
How to create the perfect project proposal?
So, now that you’ve picked up the type of proposal you want, let’s see how to create one. Before you get in there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
- Who is your audience?
- What is the problem?
- What are the possible solutions?
- Who are your competitors?
- How will it add to the company’s success?
- What is the estimated completion time?
- What is the number of resources required?
Knowing the answers to these questions would help you create your project proposal better.
Now, let’s begin creating a project proposal!
STEP 1: WRITE THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The executive summary of the project proposal is the most important step. It provides a quick overview of the background, objectives, and deliverables of your project.
The purpose of an executive summary is to gain the executives’ interest and attention. It shouldn’t be lengthy. Thus, you should include the following information in your executive summary:
- Name of the organization
- Title of the project
- It shouldn’t be too explanatory. Keep it precise and a bit ambiguous.
- Project summary
- What is the problem at hand?
- What have you concluded from it?
- What are your proposed solutions?
Pro tip: Keep it short and intriguing and include statistics to validate your facts.
- Timeframe of the project
- Name of the people who prepared it
- Attached documents
- Contact details of the contacting person or company
Your executive summary, is the “go ahead” signal for your executives. So, always try to make it as attractive as possible.
STEP 2: WRITE THE PROJECT BACKGROUND
The next step of creating your project proposal is writing the background of your project. In this section, you should clarify the problem of your project.
You should clearly define why this problem needs to be addressed now. Try to include statistics to prove your point and keep it as short as 1 page.
STEP 3: WRITE THE PROJECT OBJECTIVES
Once you’ve defined why you are starting this project, the next part is to explain what do you hope to achieve out of it. So, enlist the goals that you wish to accomplish through the execution of this project.
STEP 4: WRITE THE PROJECT APPROACH
As the name suggests, the project approach in a project proposal aims to explain to the stakeholders how you are going to plan, control and execute your project. It is also called the project methodology section.
It should always include information on the following:
- Project Requirements: It should define the internal and external resources, equipment, materials and other tangible and intangible things required for the completion of the project.
- Project Timeline and Tasks: Here you’ll be brief on the time and steps required for the completion of the project.
- Project Deliverables: You’ll enlist all the deliverables you are going to give to the client on the execution of the project. It can be anything including a report, products or information. Don’t forget to mention the delivery date of the deliverables.
STEP 5: WRITE THE RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN
This part includes predictions of possible risks and an action plan to mitigate those risks through a risk management plan. It helps the executives to see that you are prepared to handle any uncertain circumstances and events.
Step 6: DEFINE THE BUDGET
In this section of the project proposal, you’ll elaborately define the budget of your project. It can be divided into two parts. These are:
- Project Budget: Define your budget by breaking it down into several categories as per the project requirement.
Pro tip: Don’t mention the full amount at once or at the top. Make sure to include the steps that would amount to that cost and add the total in the end.
- Financial Statements: Some projects require you to have financial statements like a profit and loss statement, taxes, or other things. It shows how the project is beneficial for the company. You can do a cost analysis to elaborate on the benefits of it to the company.
STEP 6: WRAP IT UP
In this section, you’ll conclude your project by providing a brief review of the whole project proposal. This is like your last shot to win over your executives. So, write it in a convincing way that proves the worth of your project and how much beneficial it is for the company and your consumers.
STEP 7: AUTHORIZATION
Write down the names of the people or the parties who are going to authorize the project.
STEP 8: APPENDIX
It contains all the documents that provide a bit more interesting insight into your project. So, the executives can dig in a bit more to gather more information on your proposed project proposal.
Project Proposal Template
Instead of using the traditional ways of presenting your project proposal, use nTask to present your proposal most effectively.
nTask allows you to set up milestones with its wide range of features. Here is how you can use them to write your project proposal. However, put your project on not started state and begin drafting your proposal.
1. Project Description
Start your project proposal by writing the best description for it. Use this feature to write down your project’s executive summary, background, and objectives. However, remember to keep it short.
2. Project Approach
You can use the resource tab and task tab to define all the required resources as well as the number of tasks. In addition to that, you can also assign project managers, contributors, and viewers to your project.
3. Budget and Financial Summary
For defining the budget, use the details tab. In this, you can specify various aspects related to your budget including the billable and non-billable amounts. You can also add to the fixed fee, the fee per task, and the hourly rate by task or resources. Moreover, enter the type of currency you want.
However, for financial statements, use the financial summary tab to provide a detailed insight on the estimated cost vs actual cost. In addition, once the project is in a progressive state, you can send email alerts if the project exceeds the actual cost.
4. Project Documents
Upload all the required documents in this section and have 24/7 access to them. You can add new folders, sub-folders and sort them alphabetically or date-wise.
5. Risk Management
The risk management feature of nTask will allow you to set metrics to predict risks and issues that might hinder your project. Moreover, you can define your risk drivers and visualize your progress with a progress graph or matrix.
So, there you have it, a detailed guide on how you can create the perfect project proposal for your company.
To conclude, the importance of a great project proposal is pivotal for the approval and ultimate success of the project.
Good luck with your upcoming projects!