Three pillars of good project proposals.
Pillar 1 — Who is your 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 your audience has a lot of technical knowledge on the topic, they might expect technical details. If, however, the people giving approval have only basic understanding — perhaps they’re board members with a background in a different industry, or they’re looking for contract work in an area outside their expertise — you will need to be especially careful to avoid jargon and to translate industry language into more general terms.
Pillar 2 — What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
Pillar 3 — Do you have supporting data?
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