What is a Project Proposal?

The Project Proposal is the initial document used to define an internal or external project. The proposal includes sections such as title, start and end dates, objectives and goals, requirements, and a descriptor of the proposed solution.

The project proposal functions as the working document between the agency and the client before a potential initiation of the project. Thus, the project proposal is used to define the objectives and requirements of a project for the external party. For the internal party, it is a method to analyze the feasibility and profitability of the project.

The main objective of the project proposal is to get the client to buy into your services. Thus, project proposals are a great way to secure funding, win new clients, or convince executives to allocate resources to projects.

Writing a successful project proposal requires being on the same page with the clients and wearing their shoes for a moment. You need to think like them and figure out exactly what they want to achieve with the project. 

It’s at the stage of writing a project proposal that you start focusing on the results critical for the client. It explains why successful organizations get into so much detail with their project proposals. Because a project proposal outlines your project’s value proposition, you will benefit from having the following elements in it:

  • Central problem: What is the core problem the project team will aim to solve?
  • Project resources: What resources will be available?
  • Project timeline: What is the suggested project timeline to solve the problem?
  • Project budget: What is the project’s price?
  • Key project deliverables: What is the project scope? How will the success of the project be measured? 

At the same time, as experience shows, you’ll have very little time to craft a project proposal. To push the envelope and stay proactive in these circumstances, a project and resource management software could be a huge time-saver. 

A challenge that often comes together with creating proposals in project-oriented companies is misalignment between teams. When your account executives sell a project and you're a bit late to the party, it's somewhat difficult to line up the price with the expectations. That's why companies turn to one best practice when writing project proposals – they set a project baseline to make sure everyone stays on the same page during the course of the project. 

Remember that clients demand your full attention. Your toolstack shouldn’t. Taking too much time to create a project proposal can make clients backpedal.

On that note, mind that a project proposal is not a novel about your company’s strengths. There’s no space for fluff!

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