If you’re just getting started as a project manager, or have found the role of project manager thrust upon you, you’ll need to write a project proposal. How can you write a proposal to win approval and resources for the project? Read on for an eight-step formula for success!
1. Starting Out
To begin with, you’ll need to start asking questions of yourself and your past experience as a project manager and the job that’s currently at hand. These questions will include:
- What strategies have been tried before?
- Have they worked, and why?
- What project manager experience have I had in the past?
- How does that affect me now?
- What’s the most important goal of this project?
- Who will you need to work on it?
Now’s the time to sit and brainstorm all these things, and really think about what you’re going to need to make this proposal successful. Once you’ve got these questions answered, you can move onto drafting your proposal.
2. Work Out the Goals
In your proposal, you’ll need to write a project summary. This will include the goals of your proposal. What are you hoping to achieve in your project? Hopefully, you’ll have already covered this in your brainstorming project earlier on.
Remember this is a summary, so you’ll need to keep this section brief and to the point. If you’re struggling to keep it short, use a copywriting tool like State Of Writing which can create sections of your project proposal for you, or the entire document, or an editing tool like Easy Word Count, to make sure you keep your proposal to an appropriate length with relevant information included in an easily digestible way.
3. Create a Methodology
A good project proposal will have a well-thought-out methodology that outlines just how you’re going to achieve the goals you’ve identified. This will be made up of several sections:
- The Summary: This will be a short breakdown of how the tasks will be completed, either in short paragraphs or bullet points.
- Work breakdown and time scales: You’ll need to be able to tell the reader how long each step of your plan will take, and when you expect to have things done by. This will show that you’ve thought about the feasibility of your plan and how it can be done.
- Project deliverables: These will be progress reports, products, information and so on. Again, give a timescale for these so the reader knows when to expect them.
4. Risk Management
This section is very important, and you need to ensure that you include it. You need to show the reader that you’ve thought about the risks involved in every step of your plan. That way, you’ll already know what might go wrong, and can take steps to avoid these issues.
The best way to show this is in a detailed risk assessment. You can find templates for these online to help you cover all the bases and show how you’re going to work around possible problems.
5. Citing Your References
You won’t have come up with this proposal all on your own. If you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll have done lots of research before you ever put pen to paper and should reference this research in the proposal.
As a project manager, this helps to build your credibility as a leader. This means if you need to refer to any information throughout your project, or need answers to questions, you can simply refer to the source of the information.
How you do this will depend on your project proposal itself. You may want to include references throughout the text as they may come up. However, you may also want to create a bibliography at the end of the paper. A service like UK Writings can help you decide which approach is the best for you, as well as offering guides and professional advice on how to carry out each process properly. Online tools like Cite It In can also help you manage in-text citations if you choose to cite your references throughout the proposal rather than in a bibliography form.
6. Show How You’re Going to Solve the Problem
This sounds like an obvious step, but you’ve got to show the reader how you’re going to solve the problem they have, the most important aspect of a project proposal. Many managers get bogged down in the methodology, and exactly what they’re going to do. However, they don’t say what the whole point or purpose of the exercise is.
In your project proposal, make sure you outline how your plan is designed to help solve the problem you and your team is trying to deal with. The clearer, more precise, and more detailed you are, the sounder your plan will be and the more likely it is to be accepted by the rest of your team and superiors.
7. Watch Your Grammar
No matter what you’re writing, your grammar is vital, even more so when it comes to project proposals. This is important to your proposal as your grammar will make you look professional in your approach. Imagine reading an official document with bad grammar. You wouldn’t give it a second glance, would you? Not only is your reputation and credibility as a project manager at risk; your team and senior management won’t take you seriously.
If you’re not sure if your grammar is up to snuff, you’ll need to get some help to brush up on your skills. Use a service like Grammarix to have your project proposal checked over by a professional writer to ensure the grammar is spot-on, and writing services like Essayroo to help you improve your grammar skills now or for any future proposals you’re writing.
8. Proofreading and Editing
The final step before you submit your proposal is to ensure it’s proofread and edited properly. You may think it looks fine, but you’ll be amazed at how many errors can slip past you, especially if you only give it one or two quick readthroughs.
Take your time with this stage, as you don’t want to miss anything important. When you come to edit, print the project proposal out as this will help you look at it in a different light. You can also make notes on the paper for edits to make later.
For help with proofreading, try using AcademAdvisor, who can carry out your proofreading process on your behalf or teach you the essential techniques on how to do it yourself. If you need similar help, but with editing the text, try Boom Essays, as recommended by the Huffington Post.
Creating an Expert Project Proposal
Writing a good project proposal is all about covering the bases and leaving no room for error. You need to have thought of everything – even before anybody asks about it. The more questions you can answer for them, the more likely they are to sign off on your plan.
If you’ve done your research and really thought about how your plan will solve the problem you’re encountering, then you’ll go far. Use the advice here, and you’ll write a proposal that no one will be able to say no to.
Guest Author Bio:
Gloria Kopp is a project manager and press release writer at Paper Fellows. She writes contributor columns at Microsoft and Academized communities. Gloria is an author at Studydemic, an educational project for business and marketing students.