Project proposals are invaluable documents in the project management world. They provide key details about a prospective project and need to be approved by clients in order for work on a project to be approved and initiated.
Project proposal documents are vital elements of the project initiation process. They often lay the foundation for more robust documents like project outlines and project plans.
However, they vary a lot in their contents. This is because the word project is so vague and means different things in different industries. It's difficult to put together one template to encompass all project proposals because what they look like changes so much on a case-by-case basis.
This is why we've developed 9 different project proposal templates for you to use for free. No matter your industry, there's something for everyone here. You'll save time when you're getting started and feel confident in the direction you're taking with your template if you follow this comprehensive guide.
Here at Slite, we have a variety of project proposal templates for you to choose from. Without a doubt, you'll find something that perfectly matches your needs, no matter your project type, topic or size. Take a browse through our samples and let your imagination run wild.
Browse 10 other project proposal templates by navigating the template on top of this page or here:
→ Project Proposal Directory
→ Web Design Project Proposal
→ Consulting Project Proposal
→ Mobile App Project Proposal
→ Software Project Proposal
→ IT Project Proposal
→ Marketing Project Proposal
→ Business Project Proposal
→ Construction Project Proposal
→ Research Project Proposal
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.
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.
Even if you're not the key decision-maker in your company, you can still kickstart your business project, get the ball rolling, and start bringing in attractive business proposals.
If you put together a project proposal template and want to get it approved by the rest of your company, 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 the "yes" people are in your company and test the waters with them one-on-one. By doing this, you'll be more likely to get them on board, so when you ask for everyone's input in a more formal setting, you'll have their backing and ideas at hand.
Next up, launch an internal survey or email thread that gathers feedback and insights on project proposal elements. What information will your key stakeholders need? What are the most important elements to include when explaining your project to a new audience?
Once you've collected everyone's input, bring it all together and present your findings to management. Ask for their feedback and suggest they build the template with you. By doing so, you'll get them on board and even kick-off a soft onboarding process for your template.
Putting together a great project proposal template takes a bit of work. Using a premade template helps you get started, but you'll always need to customize it so that it's in accordance with your needs. This creates a bit of a research project for yourself and your teammates.
Because of this, it's important to let your colleagues know that this process is for them.
Secondly, present your project proposal template strategically to earn company-wide buy-in. Remember, you'll only get one shot at introducing it, and 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.
Finally, you'll get to watch efficiently presented project proposals come through formal channels. Your next proposal process—and every one after that— will be efficient and streamlined. Hooray!
Many different elements can go into a project proposal depending on your specific needs and project type. When you're customizing your own project proposal template, take inspiration from this section where we describe the various elements that can be included.
Include any additional relevant details about your project. This often includes project background, project objectives, project needs, and company background information.
It also sometimes contains basic details like project name, project type and/or version, project team, and potential project dates.
A problem statement is the starting point for any project. It defines what problem your product or service will solve, and why your solution will be effective. This should always be backed up with data and research as much as possible. Think of this as a key sales pitch.
Put simply: Why would people want to buy your product or service and what will it do for them?
Project scope defines everything that's included within the framework of your project, as well as what isn't. This section is essential, especially if you end up moving forward and bringing your project proposal to life. This is because the project scope defines exactly what tasks you'll be carrying out.
No one likes talking about money, but this section is key in securing project approval. Give your prospective client or stakeholder an idea of how much you foresee your project costing when all is said and done.
Remember to touch on the cost of different elements: contractors, resources, marketing plans, and so on.
Since we're still in the proposal stage, your project timeline will by no means be set in stone. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to provide an outline of how long you foresee your project taking from start to finish. This will help your prospective client determine whether your timeline fits with theirs.
Where applicable, it's a great idea to include a project roadmap in your project proposal. A project roadmap is a broad document that covers all the more important elements of a project. This includes things like objectives, milestones, deliverables, resources, and timelines.
If you have put together a project roadmap, you may not need to include all the separate elements above, as some of them should be included within your project roadmap document.
To clarify roles, reduce confusion and improve collaboration in the project team you might to identify the key members and responsibilities for this project. You can do so using a RACI template for example.
If your project has a prospective sponsor or will need to find one, include all the necessary details pertaining to that here.
Writing a project proposal template can do wonders for your internal business processes and structure how you consider new projects. Not only does it give an executive summary of a project plan or a business plan, it also:
When putting together a proposal for a new project, it's easy to get carried away. You may feel tempted to tell your client what they want to hear, or promise to do things in an unrealistic time frame. Project proposals are great because writing them forces project managers and project teams to reflect, research, and consider a realistic plan that will get everything done and make all parties involved happy.
One of the biggest pitfalls to any project management process is lack of organization. If you don't know exactly what your priorities and which tasks need to get done, your project development will likely be inefficient and get knocked off course.
Project proposals add a degree of visibility to your project's most important priorities right from the get-go. Should your proposal be approved, project team members will already be familiar with the project's different elements and what they'll be working on.
Project proposal templates also help you develop a document that's visually pleasing, and has a consistent, elegant format.
Project proposals are documents that describe proposed projects. Sometimes they're solicited, and sometimes they're unsolicited. Especially if you're putting together an unsolicited proposal, it should really wow your potential client and convince them to work with you. Using a project proposal template is an ideal solution to help you deliver a sleek document that will impress the reader and make sure that you haven't missed any key information.
For one reason or another, you may be on a project team that needs to secure funding or investors. Sending out a great project proposal is also key in this context because it will show your company's competence and provide potential clients and investors with details about how your project will benefit them.
When presenting businesses with information about a proposed project, it's essential that you come off as professional. It's basically like an elevator pitch for your project, and you really want it to be convincing.
The receiving company's boss will most likely be the person who has the last word on the ultimate acceptance or rejection of your proposal. A poorly formatted Word document or quick email just won't look good. On the other hand, a sleek proposal will make a great impression and show that you mean business.
Projects fail for all kinds of reasons, but one of the biggest is poorly communicated expectations on both sides. When expectations aren't clear, it leads to a lot of frustration, confusion, and inefficiency down the road. Done correctly, project proposals help avoid this because their contents make expectations clear very early on the project initiation process.
When you're just getting started, writing a project proposal can be intimidating. A project proposal template can help you out by outlining what elements you should include. However, you might still need some project proposal tips when it comes to the writing process. In order to help you out with your writing activities, keep these tips in mind.
Your project proposal should always be written with a specific audience or reader in mind. That person(s) should be the decision-maker on whether you'll be moving forward with the project in question or not. Be sure to use language, details, and structure that will resonate with them in your proposal document.
At the end of the day, you should be using your project proposal to show why you and your project team are the best choice for the project at hand. As such, you should write your proposal persuasively. That means highlighting any special skills and ideas you have, as well as any relevant experience. It also doesn't hurt to back up your claims with research, data, charts, case studies, and testimonials.
As discussed in the problem statement section, any project ultimately aims to produce something that will resolve a problem. Having said that, your project team's goal should be providing a great solution to that problem. Don't spend too much time focusing on the problem at hand, but rather what you and your team will bring to the table to resolve it.
A proposal document is not the place to use vague language or go on long tangents. Your finished document should be detailed and concise without dragging on and on. You don't want to lose your reader's attention due to lack of time and ultimately fail to secure that dream project.
Last but not least, no project proposal should be delivered without a great deal of proofreading and reviewing. It can be tempting to send it out as soon as you're finished, but make sure you read it over yourself as well as getting a few more pairs of eyes on it so it goes out in tip-top shape.
There are a number of benefits to using a project proposal document. Using a project proposal can offer many advantages because it:
Processes are good things. They get people on the same page and ensure that everyone knows how to handle the same situations. Using a project proposal template means that anyone will be able to submit a proposal and know exactly how to do so.
Building on our last point, whoever receives a proposal that was made with a template will know what to expect. If they've worked with you before, they will have already seen your template. If it's a new potential client, templates have a way of organizing information clearly.
Your reader will have a better experience reading your project proposal because they'll know roughly how long it will be and what information they can expect to be included.
A great place for completed project proposals is in a knowledge hub. This can become a helpful resource if you permit people to access past documents and learn from what's been done before. They can assess which past project proposals were a success, which ones weren't... and why.
Pro Tip: Project proposal templates are best introduced with a short tutorial, so everyone will be informed about what they have to do. This will also avoid redundant questions.
The importance of branding is so important when you're trying to unite a team and get everyone on board. However, not everyone has the time, materials or design skills to put together a perfectly branded document.
Project proposal templates are here to save the day. They allow people to spend less time fretting about being on brand and more time focusing on the project at hand.
By putting together a template for your project proposal needs, you're ensuring that anyone creating one doesn't skip a beat. Forgetting about missing key information or sections, because everything will already be there for you to get started on.
We're here to make your work easier, because project management doesn't have to be complicated. Using a platform like Slite can make a significant difference in your project initiation and development processes. After all, the more processes and day-to-day tasks you automate, the more time you can spend on more exciting stuff. We've built out project proposal templates that cover all the basics, so follow these steps and make the most out of it.
If you're ready to get started with Slite, all you have to do is create a free account to get to know our software. Click here and hit the sign up button. Then, simply provide your email address, come up with a password, and enter a few basic details like your full name and the main purpose you want to use Slite for.
If it's applicable to you, you'll also be prompted to identify your company and team name, establish how many people you'll be working with, and whether or not those colleagues will be working remotely. Finally, you'll choose a team address and you'll be ready to get started.
The best part of all? Our free plan doesn't involve any strings or commitments and you can use it as long as you want. Later on, if you want to take advantage of our more in-depth features, you can upgrade your plan at any time.
Once you've signed up for Slite, there's very little you have to do because you can start creating and sharing documents. It's easy to invite other team members and stakeholders via Slite's back end. Simply click "invite your team" under the options menu.
We've got a large number of free templates to help save you time when you're taking your first steps. They currently cover the following topics, and we're consistently adding more to our roster:
If you'd like to take a browse of our selection of templates, click here. Once you've found the perfect template, click the "start with this doc" button. Then, you'll have access to the template in your account and you'll be ready to start customizing it according to your specific needs.