How to Write a Project Proposal for the Workplace

Proposals are essential as they can be used to get funding for projects in the workplace. That is why it is important to know how to write a project proposal.

Whether those proposals are in-house, such as a proposal to launch a new product, or approaching a third party, such as when a contractor is writing a proposal to build an expansion, they all require the same elements: priorities, strategies, training, a budget, and an executive summary.

A project proposal also defines the core value proposition for your project. It sells interest to stakeholders both at home and abroad.

The proposal’s goal is to catch the attention of stakeholders and project supporters. The next step is to get them excited about the project once you have the attention of people.

It’s important to get in the heads of the people you’re writing the proposal for. You need to think like the stakeholders of the project to make a proposal that meets their needs.

What Is the Project Proposal?

A project plan is a document that promotes an organization’s professional relationship with outside stakeholders. A project proposal is usually the basic process for developing the project design and involves what you want to achieve, an overview of priorities, and plans to achieve them.

It is normal for a project proposal to include a list of activities or tasks associated with the project, to highlight the importance of this particular project concept, and to clarify the roots of the project.

A project proposal is also the marketing document that creates a partnership between a company and stakeholders outside of the project. Creating a plan enables a company to provide an external worker or project donor with a formal, rational presentation.

Proposals are usually drafted during one of the early phases of your project (before making detailed plans and allocating resources). Hence estimates of time and budget are often unreliable, at best.

Project proposals have a structure that formally sets out ideas. This is to ensure the donor understands the project clearly. You need to ensure that it is clear and easy to understand while writing a project proposal.

Otherwise, the proposals might not be relevant. In your presentation, you should also use the right words to ensure that an idea is conceptualized.

This article aims to discuss the outline that you need to follow to write a project proposal. It acts as a guide or outline of a proposal. That means it can be updated, and your idea created.

The article is written with several parts. -the section has a few examples and tips which can help you produce a simple, accurate, and transparent document.

Things to Consider Before Writing a Project Proposal, Including:

How to write a project Proposal

Your Audience

Identify who the decision-makers are and evaluate their relationships. Each will have their priorities and expectations for each stakeholder. You may need to write multiple versions of the proposal, depending on your audience.

• Are you familiar with the projector to the problem? Which do they know already? Don’t they know what?

• Do you have to include background information on a specific topic?

• What would they like to hear?

• Is there any way to give them a better understanding of what you want to convey?

Potential Pitfalls

A paper by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Francis McNamara’s Global Congress cites four basic reasons why project proposals are rejected:

 • Poorly defined proposal

 • The proposal that is not consistent with organizational priorities  

• Project benefits that are not clearly and credibly defined 

• Ineffective project proposal presentation. Certain projects fail not because they are bad projects per se but because they are poor projects in themselves.

Data and Research

Facts, statistics, graphs, and charts are required to substantiate the plan and to explain the nature of the project.

Research previous ventures, both successful and unsuccessful, because you will need as much hard data, facts, and examples as you can provide to formulate a compelling proposal.

How to Write a Project Proposal

Note, the reason you’re putting forward a plan is to get employee buy-in. You want to help the key people in your project. To turn a dream into practice, you need decision-makers by your side.

You want to speak to them about the idea and then encourage them to take the next step, which is to green-light the project.

Step 1: Define the Problem

Define problem

What’s the question you’re trying to address your project? Why is this an issue? Why is a resolution worth it? Have your audience view the issue the way you see it. 

Tips for Defining the Problem:

Start Strong

Decision-makers typically don’t allow much time to look at a suggestion, so make sure the pain point is presented succinctly and resonates with it.

Use Facts, Not Opinions

Even if you want your audience to understand the severity of a problem, you don’t want to overdo it. Instead, use your research data to back up your assertions.

Step 2: Present Your Solution

Tips for Presenting Your Solution

Anticipate questions and objections. Be prepared to defend every facet of your approach. Be prepared to explain, for example, why your costlier solution is better than a less costly one.

• Show the bigger impact of a solution. Stakeholders usually get more excited about large-scale projects than those with limited impact.

• Evidence on opinion, again. Provide as many explanations underpinned by the study as possible.

Step 3: Define Your Deliverables and Success Criteria

This section provides a picture of the deliverable’s functions and attributes, plus how to know if the project is efficient.

Tips for Describing the Deliverables

• Include the date of delivery. Define what your project can offer and what customers can expect from it, such as a 24/7 open cloud-based phone system from anywhere if it is a customer service project that you are proposing. Additionally, the state when you expect to complete will be deliverable.

• You must have SMART as the answer. Your criteria for success would show whether the project was successful. Keep your SMART solution (specific, observable, feasible, practical, and time-bound) in mind.

Step 4: State Your Plan or Approach

This is the critical section of the proposal and discusses how to achieve the project’s objectives.

It begins with an elaboration of the approach as well as why it’s relevant and effective. It equally explains how problems will be managed.

Tips for Planning

Develop project approaches. Will you use the traditional approach to the waterfalls? Why? Are you going to employ third-party contractors, in-house staff, or consultants?

What will its aims and obligations be? This is your chance to discuss the “why” behind the decisions you make to finalize the proposal.

• Explain how it will solve problems. This describes the risk mitigation techniques for your project management strategy.

Step 5: Outline Your Schedule and Budget

Tips for Defining a Schedule and Budget

• Provide the fullest possible description. Divide the budget into sections, such as materials, equipment, wages, etc. Include all the indirect and operating costs. A detailed financial analysis will signal the work to stakeholders and will not waste their money. Remember that some projects that include the financial statements and sources of funding.

• Be genuine. Don’t believe it. Provide start and end times for the project, and if certain parts of the project can be carried out concurrently.

Step 6: Tie It All Together

Finish the proposal with a conclusion that sums up the problem, solution, and benefits briefly. Illustrate the important parts and illustrate your plan by restating ideas or details that you want your audience to recall.

Test the plan to see if the proposals are coherent and whether the elements help each other.

Tips for Tying Everything Together

• Your proposal should read like a book. Your idea has a story to tell. That section and element must collaborate to form a cohesive whole.

• Refrain from doing anything unacceptable. Be cautious not to add anything wrong, or that does not contribute to the overall project goals.

• Check that all aspects of the project proposal are available. Check your document and make sure it covers all of the necessary elements.

Step 7: Edit/Proofread Your Proposal

Rewrite your idea as needed to make it interesting, useful, simple, and compelling. Ask for feedback and make sure the plan is visually appealing and structured.

Editing Tips:

• Review tonality and grammar. Your idea is designed for a different type of audience, so make sure it represents the tone and language used. Do not forget to read the proofread for errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. You want a professional look to your plan.