A project proposal is a document that establishes a project stating details like goals, objectives, important dates, milestones and requirements needed to start and complete the project. There are different types of project proposals that we cover in our step-by-step guide: writing your project proposal article. Usually, it's self-led and is the beginning of something great.
In short, a project proposal—also known as a business proposal—is a way of communicating a business growth idea to leadership and getting the go-ahead to run with that idea. This document covers everything from budget to research; team members involved to project deliverables. It's a complete overview of what the project will entail and the desired results.
Business proposal templates come across departments, and a request for a proposal (RFP) can come from any manager. Whether it's an unsolicited proposal or a specific request, a few proposal template examples are:
- Construction proposal templates
- Bid proposal templates
- Design proposal templates
- Marketing proposal templates
- Web design proposal templates
There are many types of proposals out there, and a methodology to match each one. They're usually accompanied by case studies, a cover letter, and an appendix.
Pro Tip: A request for proposals can be made by anyone: potential clients, project managers, internal stakeholders—ensure everyone has access to your proposal format.
Writing a project proposal template can do wonders for your internal business processes and can structure how you consider new projects. From mobile apps to changing internal excel processes, this template can cover it all. It gives an executive summary of a project plan or a business plan.
It will give people a clear overview of:
- Pricing and project budget
- The project problem statement
- Project details
- Project timeline
- Any necessary sponsorship
- The project scope
- Project needs
- Overall project costs
The list is long, but we're not done yet.
Formalizes processes: Processes are a good thing; they get everyone on the same page and ensure that everyone knows how to handle the same thing. It means that anyone will be able to submit a project proposal outline and know how to do so.
Manages expectations: Building on our last point, a receiver of any project proposal will know what to expect. As everyone is using the same template, the reader will know roughly how long it will be and how much time it will take them to read. It allows people to manage their time better.
Centralizes knowledge: Completed project proposals can live in a knowledge hub. It means that, if you permit people to access past docs, people can learn from what's come before them. They can learn from those proposals that were a success, those that were not, and why.
Pro Tip: Project proposal templates are best introduced with a short tutorial, so everyone knows how to write their proposal outline perfectly.
Uniforms proposals: The importance of branding is so important when you're trying to unite a team and get people on side. However, not everyone has the design skills to put together a perfectly branded document. Project proposal templates come to save the day, they allow people to spend less time fretting about being on brand, and more time focussing on the project at hand.
Avoids missing information: By initiating a template into your project proposals, you ensure that anyone creating one doesn't skip a beat. Build your template out with the business proposal information you need to give the green light to a project, or not.
We're here to make your work easier. Project management doesn't have to be complicated and the more processes and day-to-day work you automize, the more time you can spend on the exciting things. We've built out a project proposal template that covers all of the basics. Take it under your wing and re-mould it to fit your needs best.
Just because you're not the key decision-maker in your company, doesn't mean you can't initiate this business project and get the ball rolling toward business proposals that as organized as you are. If you want to get this project proposal templates approved, the irony, then follow these steps.
This will be the trickiest part of the process, but it's not something that needs to be done so formally, at first. Determine who your "yes" people are in the company and test the waters with them 1-1. By doing this, you're more likely to get them on board, so when you ask for everyone's input on a more formal basis, you'll have their backing and ideas at hand.
Next up is to launch an internal survey or email thread that gathers project proposal elements. What information do your key stakeholders need to be in a position to approve or disapprove of something?
Once you've collected everyone's inputs, roll them together and present them to management. Ask for their input and let them build the template with you. By doing so, you'll get them on board and they'll have a soft onboarding to your template.
There aren't many proposal examples out there that give an accurate proposal sample. It means creating one can be a bit of a research project in itself for your teammates.
Firstly, let people know this process is for them.
Secondly, present this smartly to get company-wide buy-in. You get one shot at introducing your project proposal template. Remember, first impressions count. Introduce your business proposal outline thoughtfully, use videos or screenshots to get your point across and make sure everyone is crystal clear on how to use the template.
Lastly, watch your proposed projects come through on formal channels, presented efficiently, and get your next project—and every one after that—as streamlined as possible.