Think of it as a project plan that showcases the path to success that any approver needs to see.
Three pillars of good proposals.
No matter the type of project you’re working on, it’s good to know the process of pulling together a good proposal. Knowing the ropes will dramatically improve your chances of getting the project approved, especially when you’re working in a professional or academic environment.
Before you actually start outlining and writing, consider three important questions before doing all the necessary work to get your project off the ground.
1. Does the project have a defined target audience?
It’s essential to understand who you are writing to for approval when creating a proposal. Knowing your audience will give you a framework for your document. Ask yourself these questions about your audience, team members, and decision makers:
- How familiar are they with the project or problem?
- What do they already know?
- What do they not know?
- What do they want to hear? How will you get their buy-in?
- What do they think project success looks like?
Considering the knowledge levels, expectations, and backgrounds of the audience you are writing for will go a long way toward success.
For example, if you’re writing an academic paper proposal, you can often assume that your audience is familiar with the basics of your topic, so you can summarize pertinent details, and then dive into the meat of the project faster.
2. Does it consider problems and issues?
The classic quote is, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” But as every proposal seeks to solve some problem, your project is likely attacking an issue from a new angle or perspective. However, your project probably shares similarities with others that came before it, so acknowledging the scope of the problem you seek to address — and giving answers on how you’ll deal with roadblocks — is a best practice to adopt. This can include pricing, project scope, and possible obstacles to milestones.
3. Do you have research and supporting data?
Add as many relevant insights from research, figures, graphs, and charts as you can, as this will provide validation and credibility for your proposal. Compelling arguments and pitches are often all the more convincing with the right numbers to back them up. Make sure to keep it concise, however. This is a proposal, not a full research report.
4. steps to outlining and writing your proposal.
1. Define the problem and project background.
2. Present your solution.
3. Define success, deliverables, and project budget.
4. Edit and proofread.
Once you’ve created your proposal, make sure that it’s ready for prime time by egiving it a final edit and proofread.
Adobe tools for project proposals.
No matter the type of project you’re working on, Adobe Acrobat has the tools you need to make a stunning proposal that will get you the approval to work.
When you’re building the proposal itself, you might need to combine disparate elements, like charts, photographs, graphics, and text. With Acrobat features, you’ll be able to manipulate the pages of your proposal in seconds.
- Merge PDFs: Merging documents together is easy with Acrobat. Take spreadsheets, individual graphics, and other documents and convert them to PDF format so you can combine them all together with the Merge tool. Instead of a series of related attachments, you can put together a single, cohesive followup to your proposal that provides all the necessary information in one tidy PDF. You can also use the Reorder and Organize Pages tools to ensure all files are in the right order and are properly aligned to ensure the most professional-looking PDF.
- Compress PDFs: Once you’ve collected your combined proposal just the way you like, you can compress a merged PDF so it’s easy to share with any key stakeholders or project approvers.
Once shared, the Edit PDFs with Comment tool helps you collaborate and incorporate feedback from others — a collaborative way to start making your project a reality. Get ready to propose and create a successful project.
If you need inspiration for a proposal, there are hundreds of project proposal templates for dozens of types of project proposals available in Adobe Stock for you to source. You can build an excellent-looking presentation or proposal with professional graphic design as the foundation.