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Subject:How to Write a Proposal From:EMMY_ARICIOGLU -at- HP-ROSEVILLE-OM3 -dot- OM -dot- HP -dot- COM Date:Mon, 14 Jun 1999 11:03:00 -0700
To: Eilan Ng Kwan
I have written and helped write hundreds of proposals when I worked
for a huge consulting company a few years ago. Here are some broad
guidelines (off the top of my head, since I don't write proposals
A proposal can be written in letter format (the simplest), or (if
you're showing off your skill) in the format of the final product, but
in general, it must contain the following main topics:
Scope: What are the parameters of the consulting assignment? To write
a manual, on-line help, create a database, perform usability? This is
where you show that you heard what the client said. What does the
client want you to do?
Approach: How will you go about accomplishing the task(s) requested by
the client? Will you interview SMEs, experiment with the product, make
phone calls, examine competitive products, create graphics, manage
production of graphics, draft text, distribute draft and get feedback
from SMEs, incorporate comments, redraft, create final text, create
camera-ready art, send to printer, prepare files for archiving? The
steps you provide here should tie in with the schedule. Also, it is
not necessary to "give away the store" here (don't tell 'em all your
secrets to getting the job done).
Deliverables: What will you deliver to the client as the finished
product: text for manual, graphics, files for archiving? List
everything you will deliver.
Schedule: How long will the project take? Creating a gantt chart is
extremely helpful -- anything visual is good, especially to show where
tasks overlap (research/writing, interview/writing, writing/graphics,
Cost: There are different approaches to quoting cost: overall cost,
cost in stages, cost per deliverable. Also, you can ask for upfront
development money (for research, travel, phone, copying, etc.). Don't
forget to charge for overhead. Cost can also be quoted as a range.
Also state that cost can be adjusted (if mutually agreed to) if scope,
deliverables, or schedule change.
This is a bare-bones explanation of what goes into a proposal. I have
to stop now or go on for another four hours.