The production of the proposal can be seen as a project in its own right. It consists of the following activities:
- Planning and organizing the production process and assembling the required resources and components.
- Determining the proposal structure and strategy.
- Writing the proposal itself.
- Applying Quality Control and obtaining approvals
Planning and Organizing the Production Process
- Plan according to submission deadlines.
- Assemble the proposal/bid team.
- Ensure adequate resources:
- Assign tasks appropriately and co-ordinate effort.
Notes: Treat it as a mini project
Proposal Structure Issues
- Degree of specificity or detail.
- Relative importance of sections.
- Order of sections.
- Body vs. Appendices.
- All sections required? Do we include or leave things out?
- Executive overview? Addressing the possibility of differing target audiences.
- To be supported by a presentation?
Writing the Proposal
Proposal and business writing is a subject in its own right. We cannot do justice to the topic here but we will raise key issues to be considered.
- Use formal language.
- Singular, plural “us”, “we” “the company” “I”.
- Use active, not passive voice and style.
- Use style and length which are appropriate to the client/problem/price.
- Ensure readability and flow (choose between bullets or detail).
- Balance usage of graphics, tables and text.
- Sequence sections logically – build the business case.
- Use the main body and appendices appropriately.
- Use consistent layouts (boilerplate/ templates/fonts/ styles). Ensure that it creates the required image and impression!
- Use software tools (spell/grammar checkers, thesaurus).
- Ensure consistency with the presentation that may be required.
- Make provision for a legal review (proposal may become the contract).
- Allow for effective management and peer review (Quality Assurance) and formal sign off.
- Manage production and logistics in accordance with delivery deadlines.
Visual Impact is Key!
Apply Quality Controls(QC) & obtain approval
- Why bother with Quality Control?
- What should be Quality Controlled?
- Who approves what?
- Is this a necessary process in consultancies?
Hibbit Case Study – Preparing the Proposal
Using the Hibbit case study, draft a proposal to the client. The proposal should be for presentation to an imaginary client.