Introduction:

A solicited project proposal is a written document that establishes the concept of a project and what it will accomplish.

It outlines the project objectives and describes how they will be achieved.

It either offers a solution to a problem or a course of action in response to a need.

The primary purpose of a solicited project proposal is to sell yourself and the project you are proposing to the proposal reviewer. The goal is to persuade them to take the course of action you propose.

Use this checklist alongside the proposal document that you plan to send to the reviewer to make sure you set the project vision, define the project requirements, describe the deliverables, and specify the deadlines. Use it to make sure that all elements have been considered, that the proposal contains everything it needs to and that it meets all set requirements. 

Writing a successful proposal is competitive, tough and a long process that can seem overwhelming at first. You need strong processes in place to make sure you have gathered all the required information, adhered to all set guidelines, and are writing clear, concise, and persuasive proposals.

Process Street is super-powered checklists. It’s the easiest way to manage your recurring tasks, procedures, and workflows.

Create a checklist template and run individual checklists for each member of your team. You can check tasks off as you work through them, set deadlines, add approvalsassign tasks, and track each team member's progress.

You can also connect to thousands of Apps through Zapier and automate your workflows even more.

Set-Up Tasks:

Complete checklist details

Start this project proposal process by explaining who is completing the checklist, so that everyone in your company is aware and can contact you if they need to. 

Create the proposal document

Source

The first thing you need to do is create the project proposal document that you will be working on, alongside this checklist.

Run through the following tasks to set your document up:

  • 1
    Decide what document authoring tool you will use (eg. Word or Google docs)
  • 2
    Create a new document
  • 3
    Name it
  • 4
    Save it
  • 5
    Add the location / URL of your document in the field below

Enter project information

Fill in the project information using the form fields below.

Start by providing the basic project details such as:

  • Project name
  • Start date
  • Completion date
  • Project team members

Then, describe the following, in as much detail as possible, in the fields below: 

  • Background of the project: Why is this project being proposed? Describe a problem or situation.

  • The project objectives: Outline specific and measurable objectives to be achieved by the project.

  • The project scope: Outline the endpoint, and how the task will be broken up.

Enter proposal reviewer details

Next, enter details about the person/company who will be reviewing your proposal in the fields below. 

Pre-Proposal Tasks:

Study the RFP

Now you have captured the basic information, it's time to start the pre-proposal tasks. These tasks will get you ready to start writing the proposal. 

Upload the request for proposal guidelines into the field below and study them carefully: 

Then, list out the RFP requirements in the field below.

Top tip!

Make sure you read the RFP carefully.

Missing or incomplete items often result in outright rejection or at least a lower score, which will limit your chances of success. 

Research the proposal reviewer

The more you know about {{form.Reviewer's_name}} and {{form.Reviewer's_company_name}}, the better you can tailor your proposal to meet them and their requirements.

Look at the following sources of information to find out more about {{form.Reviewer's_name}} and {{form.Reviewer's_company_name}}:

  • 1
    Website
  • 2
    LinkedIn profile
  • 3
    Company reports
  • 4
    Company/project success stories
  • 5
    Staff biographies

Note any key information in the field below, so you can refer back to it when you're writing your proposal.

Conduct a GAP analysis

Conduct a GAP analysis to assess the current situation as it is, and the desired situation if your proposal was to be accepted.

Conduct a SWOT analysis

Identify the strengths and opportunities that will exist if your proposal is accepted. 

Identify the potential weaknesses and threats that may exist if your proposal is rejected. 

Define the project need

Now you have conducted a GAP and SWOT analysis, think about the purpose of your proposal.

Answer the following questions to get your thoughts together so you can begin writing your proposal with some clear direction. 

You will need to include detailed budgets and timelines in the proposal, so it's a good idea to think about this now. 

Plan your proposal

Source

Now you've got a good idea of who you're writing the proposal for, what they're looking for and what you plan to deliver, it's time to start planning the sections of your proposal.  

Proposals are often organized into distinct sections. These sections can have different titles depending on the guidelines specified by the organization, but they frequently serve the same purposes.

Review the RFP requirements to see if they have specified a structure to follow.

{{form.RFP_requirements}}

If they've asked you to follow a specific structure, make sure you have a plan for each section they have requested.

If they haven’t specified a structure, plan out what you might include in the following sections:

Choose a title

Your proposal title needs to be catchy, descriptive, informative, and pre-dispose the reader favorably towards the proposal.

Brainstorm potential title ideas and record them below.

Run each title option through the below criteria and choose the final title by selecting the title which best meets the criteria. 

  • 1
    Is it concise?
  • 2
    Is it descriptive?
  • 3
    Is it informative?
  • 4
    Is it catchy?
  • 5
    Does it predispose the reader, favorably, towards the proposal?

Add this to your proposal document cover sheet 

Proposal Writing Tasks:

Write your introduction

Source 

The introduction section in your proposal document should cover the key elements of your proposal and contain a clear, concise description of the problem or situation. 

This is what you planned to include in your introduction:

{{form.Introduction}}

Make sure your introduction includes the following: 

  • 1
    A statement of the problem/need for your project
  • 2
    The purpose of the project
  • 3
    Project objectives
  • 4
    The significance of the project

Write your problem/need statement

Develop a clear, concise description of the client's problem or situation in the need/problem statement section of your proposal document.

For example, you could begin by describing the client's problem, in terms of social and economic costs to the company, and then show how your project could change this and the way the organization works.

You must convince the proposal reviewer that your proposed project is essential and that your organization is the right one to do it.

Use the information gathered in the SWOT and GAP analysis to explain why your project is important. 

GAP analysis findings: {{form.GAP_analysis_findings}}

Strengths & opportunities: {{form.Strengths_&_opportunities}}

Weaknesses & threats: {{form.Strengths_&_opportunities}}

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Problem_/_Need_statement}}

Answer these questions to help pinpoint your problem/need statement: 

  • 1
    How does your proposed project fill a gap or take advantage of an opportunity?
  • 2
    How will the project make a wider, positive impact on the company?

Write your goals & outcomes

In the goals and outcomes section of your proposal document, define what will occur as a result of your project - in terms of goals and outcomes.

This is what you planned to include in this section {{form.Goals_&_outcomes}}

Answer these questions to help shape your goals and outcomes section:

Check your goals and outcomes

Answer the following questions to check that the goals & outcomes you have included in your proposal are clear: 

  • 1
    Is there one or more goals that reflect the need for the project and clearly show its purpose and direction?
  • 2
    Are the goals & outcomes realistic and appropriate?
  • 3
    Do the goals & outcomes state the time by which they will be accomplished?
  • 4
    Are the outcomes described in measurable terms?

Write your history

In the history section, demonstrate how the next project can be more effective using information from previous projects.

Include information about your past experience with similar projects, talk about your successes, and list any awards.  Be sure to include client testimonials or short case studies where relevant. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.History}}

To help jog your memory about your past experience, in the fields below, list all the projects that you have successfully completed, and explain why they were successful.

Then, list all the projects that could have gone better and describe how you would improve next time.

Write your project team

Within the project team section, identify who the key people are in the project and describe their goals and motivations. 

You are trying to make {{form.Reviewer's_name}} feel like they're getting to know and trust the proposed project team.

Include bios and a photo of each project team member. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Project_team}}

Write your client benefit

In the client benefit section within your proposal document, establish how the client will benefit from the completion of the project. 

Refresh their minds on what their primary goal is and explain how you will achieve their goal with your project. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Client_benefit}}

Write your methodology

Source

In the project methodology section of your proposal, walk the proposal reviewer through exactly how you will achieve the goals & outcomes stated in the previous section. 

Give a clear description of how you plan to achieve your desired goals & outcomes. 

As a reminder, here are your goals & outcomes: 
{{form.Goals_&_outcomes}}

This is what you planned to include in your project methodology: {{form.Methodology}}

Complete the following sub-tasks to make sure you have included everything and covered every angle: 

  • 1
    Confirm how the team will be organized
  • 2
    Identify what tools, materials, and equipment will be used
  • 3
    Establish how changes will be addressed during the execution

Check your methodology

Read through your project methodology and answer the following questions to make sure you have a sound methodology: 

  • 1
    Have you established how you are going to achieve your goals & outcomes?
  • 2
    Have you established what methods you will use to achieve your goals & outcomes?
  • 3
    Have you established how you will measure or recognize your project’s achievements?

Write your project deliverables & timeline

List the deliverable tasks that are required for the project as well as an estimation of the hours required to complete each one.

These should be specific and never over-or under-promise.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Project_deliverables_&_timeline}}

Use the below as a framework to help you create this section in your proposal document

Write your risk management

The risk management section within your proposal needs to confirm how you plan to manage change during project execution. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Risk_management}}

To help you identify how you will manage change within your project, answer the below question and include this in your proposal. 

Write your project costs

Provide a breakdown of all direct and indirect costs involved in the project costs section of your proposal.

Include costs that directly relate to the benefit being created by the project, including production, marketing, or distribution costs. 

Include indirect costs that are not directly identified with the project benefits, including facilities use, utilities, support staff, insurance, and legal /accounting expenses. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Project_costs}}

Write your conclusion

Use the conclusion section to convince {{form.Reviewer's_name}} of the potential impact of your proposed project.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Conclusion}}

Make sure your conclusion includes the following: 

  • 1
    Limitations and weaknesses if you don't implement the project
  • 2
    How these limitations/weaknesses might be overcome if your project proposal was to be accepted

Write your project summary

The project summary should present the reasons for doing this project as well as stating all of the goals & outcomes.

In this section in particular, it is very important to write concisely and clearly.

Even though the project summary should go at the beginning of your proposal, some project professionals suggest writing the project summary last.

Write your project summary in your proposal document and then check it includes the following: 

  • 1
    Project goals
  • 2
    Expected outcomes and how will you achieve them
  • 3
    Why your project is important
  • 4
    Who you are as a business

Pre-Submission Tasks:

Check the structure

Read through your proposal and check it follows the EXACT structure stated in the guidelines.

If the guidelines do not specify a structure to follow, make check your proposal has the following sections at least: 

  • Title page
  • Table of contents
  • Project summary
  • Introduction
  • Problem/need statement
  • Goals & outcomes
  • History
  • Project team
  • Client benefit
  • Project methodology
  • Project deliverables/timings 
  • Risk management
  • Project costs
  • Conclusion 

Check the aesthetics

Read through your proposal and check for the following aesthetic/formatting errors: 

  • 1
    Is there a title page with all the necessary information describing this document?
  • 2
    Does the organization of the proposal enhance the content and make it easy to find/avoid types of information?
  • 3
    Are the margins consistent?
  • 4
    Is pagination accurate?
  • 5
    Did you use a consistent type-style?
  • 6
    Did you use sign-posting and color-coding where appropriate?
  • 7
    Have you used visual aids such as charts, tables, diagrams where appropriate?

Check the language

Read through your proposal again and answer the following questions to make sure your proposal is informative and interesting to read: 

  • 1
    Is the language uncluttered and concise?
  • 2
    Have you avoided using technical terms and jargon wherever possible?
  • 3
    Do you use objective language?
  • 4
    Have you avoided subjective terms?
  • 5
    Is the tone friendly but informative?
  • 6
    Is it written in a storytelling style?

Send your proposal to a "cold reader" to review

Upload the first draft of your finished proposal document and send it to a "cold reader" to review.

Give them a copy of the proposal guidelines/requirements, but little other information.

Ask them to read the proposal quickly (as this is how the proposal reviewer is likely to view your proposal) and ask them to answer the following two questions: 

  • Do they understand it?
  • Does it make sense?

Implement feedback

Update your current proposal document and record the feedback you have received for future proposals.

Check the proposal against the RFP

Read the proposal through for the final time and double-check it is aligned with the RFP requirements:

{{form.RFP_requirements}}

Answer these questions before uploading the final proposal document, ready for internal approval: 

  • 1
    Have you presented a compelling case for your project?
  • 2
    Does your project seem feasible? Is it overly ambitious? Does it have other weaknesses?
  • 3
    Have you stated the means that the reader can use to evaluate the success of your project after you’ve executed it?

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Check the proposal against the RFP
    Will be submitted

Implement feedback

Update your current proposal document and record the feedback you have received for future proposals.

Submit the proposal

Source

Submit your proposal in-line with any requirements. 

{{form.Final_Proposal}}

Sources:

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