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Writing Wining Proposals
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Writing Wining Proposals

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  • 1. Writing winning proposals
  • 2. Why write proposals?
    • Work in industry and business is done through proposals
    • The process:
      • Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identify problems that organizations want solved
      • Other organizations submit proposals that describe the solution they can create to that problem
      • The original organization selects the proposal that seems to offer the best solution
      • The second organization wins the contract and creates the solution that it proposed
  • 3. What makes a proposal good?
    • Carefully and thoughtfully analyzed content
    • Efficient and effective design of the proposal and the solution
    • Persuasively sells the solution it proposes
    • Demonstrates how its solution is better than other possible ones
    • Shows the experience and talent of the team that will produce the solution
  • 4. What kinds of proposals are there?
    • Internal: written by a division within a company to persuade management to approve an idea or project
    • Solicited: submitted in response to RFPs or specifications
    • Unsolicited: individual or company has identified a problem and devised the solution that the proposal presents
    • Sole-source contracts: organization intends to engage only one company to supply a product or service (one company is usually selected prior to publishing the RFP)
  • 5. What is a proposal?
    • “ Primarily a sales pitch that seeks to define a client’s problem and/or opportunities and to sell the client on your company’s ability to provide solutions and strategies.” Robert Hamper and Sue Baugh, Handbook for Writing Proposals .
    • It shows how you can provide help to solve the client’s problem
  • 6. When to decline writing a proposal?
    • Deadline is too soon for you to write a good proposal
    • The RFP offers follow-up work to a larger project
    • You are not equipped to produce the specifications listed, but your competitors are
    • The contract is outside your field of expertise
    • You have no real competitive edge over the competition
    • You lack staff and resources to prepare a good proposal
    • Your chances of winning the proposal are less than 50%
  • 7. How are proposals evaluated?
    • Does the proposal writer fully understand my needs and problems?
    • Does the writer know how to solve my problem?
    • Is the plan, strategy, or program suitable and appropriate to achieving my goal?
    • Does the writer have the qualified personnel to complete the proposed project?
  • 8. How are proposal evaluated?
    • Has the writer’s organization completed similar projects in a timely and satisfactory way?
    • What makes this writer’s organization superior to others who are also bidding?
    • How attractive and professional looking is the proposal and its presentation?
  • 9. Important aspect
    • Not only show that you can solve the problem well, also show that you can solve it better than others proposing solutions
    • Persuasion is a key element of a winning proposal
    • You must sell your ideas, as well as your expertise and dependability
    • Price is not the primary criterion for selection: professional competence and prior record are the deciding factors
  • 10. Who is the audience for a proposal?
    • The individual or group that will evaluate the proposals and award the project
      • To gain information about the evaluators, analyze carefully the RFP itself for information
      • Examine organizational materials that are available in the public domain, such as annual reports, newsletters, press releases, etc. for insight into the culture, financial stability, and management style
      • Talk with clients if possible (if permitted)
  • 11. Analysing an RFP
    • Determine what kind of proposal is requested
    • Examine the primary criteria listed in order of importance
    • Identify any secondary criteria
    • Once you feel you thoroughly understand the requirements of the RFP, you can start planning your solution and the pitch you will use to sell it to readers
  • 12. In-Class Exercise 6.1 Analyse an Assignment as an RFP
    • Read Major Project 9.1 on page 268 in the textbook.
    • Using the ideas outlined in the previous slides, analyse this RFP for information about the requirements of the assignment and the expectations of the reader.
  • 13. Generic format of a proposal
    • Problem statement/Background
    • Methods/Procedures
    • Qualifications/Resources
    • Work schedule
    • Budget
  • 14. Questions a proposal must answer
    • What problem are you going to solve?
      • Answered in the problem statement
    • How are you going to solve the problem?
      • Answered in the problem statement and the methods section
    • What exactly will you provide for us?
      • Answered in the problem statement
    • Can you deliver what you promise?
      • Answered in the methods, qualifications, and work schedule sections
  • 15. Questions a proposal must answer
    • 5. What benefits can you offer?
      • Answered in the problem statement and the qualifications section
    • 6. When will you complete the work?
      • Revealed in the work schedule
    • 7. How much will it cost?
      • Revealed in the budget statement
  • 16. In-Class Exercise
    • Using the information on the previous slides, analyze the sample proposal distributed to your group.
    • First, describe what the writer has done in each section to develop his or her ideas.
    • Second, evaluate the effectiveness of each section of the proposal.
    • Third, make notes on how the proposal might be revised to improve the answers to the questions posed by readers of a proposal.

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