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Proposal%20Writing

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Proposal Writing by Dr. Curtis Berthelot P.Eng. Dr. Dennis Pufahl P.Eng. Department of Civil Engineering – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Proposal%20Writing


1
Proposal Writing
  • by
  • Dr. Curtis Berthelot P.Eng.
  • Dr. Dennis Pufahl P.Eng.
  • Department of Civil Engineering

2
Lecture Objectives
  • Define a professional proposal.
  • Investigate the necessary elements of a good
    proposal.
  • Present a proposal framework.

3
What is a Proposal?
  • Summarizes and presents a proposed project
    framework in clear and concise detail.
  • Forms the basis of the contract terms for the
    project
  • Treat the proposal as a contract.
  • First impression of your technical and business
    competence.
  • Basis for Chapter 1 of the final report.
  • It is your intellectual property
  • You may wish to protect it.

4
Proposal Types
  • Unsolicited
  • Typically based on informal communications.
  • Proposes an idea.
  • Request for Proposals (RFP)
  • Formal call for defined services/products.
  • Typically used to investigate alternative
    solutions to a specific client defined need.

5
Background Work to a Proposal
  • Define the needs of the client
  • Big picture warm and fuzzy motherhood.
  • Specifics real proof of value of your proposed
    solution
  • Political issues/concerns public infrastructure.
  • Define the purpose of the proposal
  • Marketing-industry application of existing
    products/services.
  • Informative-research and development.
  • Define the audience and decision maker(s)
  • Technical.
  • Business/Executive.
  • Political.
  • All of the above.

6
Contents of a Good Proposal
  • Address the needs and the proposed benefits for
    the decision maker(s)
  • Get to know your internal champions and suit
    their needs.
  • Explicitly define the project deliverables
  • Fully understand and communicate what client is
    going to get.
  • Be slightly conservative
  • DO under-sell in the proposal and over-deliver
    in the project.
  • DO NOT over-sell and under-deliver (this is the
    result of an unfocused proposal-break through the
    motherhood).
  • Provide sufficient detail so as to decrease the
    risk of a failed project and an unhappy customer.

7
Small Project Proposal
  • Letter or memo describing
  • Professional services being provided.
  • Fees being charged.

8
Large Project Proposal
  • Cover Letter
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction/Background
  • Goal/Mission (Motherhood)
  • Objectives
  • Scope what is included in the proposal (what is
    not-optional)
  • Benefits/Significance (technical and business
    aspects)
  • Literature Review-Industry State of Play (RD)
  • Work Plan (project milestones, elements and
    tasks)
  • Project Team Members
  • Schedule and Budget
  • Deliverables Schedule (dissemination of results
    plan)
  • Final Report Layout (starts to build the clients
    expectations)
  • Appendices

9
Executive Summary
  • Overview of the contents of the proposal for
    people that are too busy to read the proposal at
    length
  • Summarize the need.
  • Summarize the features, advantages and benefits
    of your proposed solution.
  • Summarize the deliverables (in context of
    clients specific needs).
  • Summarize project budget and schedule.

10
Introduction/Background
  • Introduce the problem.
  • Summarize related background to the problem.
  • Explicitly define the problem.
  • Convince/educate the reader that it is necessary
    to solve the problem.
  • Define possible conventional solutions to the
    problem.
  • Set the stage for your solution (bring all
    readers to the same state of mind that you want
    them at).

11
Goal/Mission
  • Establish the strategic purpose of the project
    (25 words or less)
  • Big picture.
  • Far reaching impacts.
  • Strategic perspective.
  • Describe in the context of the clients strategic
    plan.

12
Objective(s)
  • Tactical milestones of the project.
  • Define in the context of the clients more
    immediate needs.

13
Benefits/Significance
  • Define the benefits (significance) of the
    project
  • Economic.
  • Industrial/Corporate.
  • Political.
  • Social.
  • Environmental.
  • This is most often the critical marketing hook
    of the proposal.

14
Scope
  • Establishes the boundaries of the project
  • Define what is included in the project
  • The scope of this project considers.
  • Define what is not included in the project
    (optional list of obvious related items not
    included)
  • The scope of this project does not consider.
  • Usually intuitive that what is not in is out.

15
Literature Review-Industry State of Play
  • Used primarily in research and development type
    proposals.
  • Establishes the state of knowledge related to the
    specific problem being investigated.
  • May review industrys current state of play.

16
Project Work Plan
  • Define the project step by step
  • Project Milestones
  • Elements
  • Tasks
  • Used to track your progress.
  • Appendix A Project flow chart may help to
    visually map the main components of the project.

17
Project Team
  • Define the personnel involved with the project.
  • Summarize the unique qualifications/competence of
    the team members
  • Engineering is increasingly becoming a profession
    of specialists.
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of each
    team member in the context of their unique
    qualifications/competence.
  • Appendix B Project Team Curriculum Viteas.

18
Budget and Schedule
  • Define the project funding requirements with
    respect to the project work plan
  • Project milestones
  • Project elements
  • Element tasks
  • Project funding in terms of
  • Labor
  • Materials
  • Equipment (capital)
  • Travel/Overhead/Administration, etc.
  • Appendix C Project Gantt chart visually
    illustrates project schedule and budget by
    milestone, element and task.

19
Deliverables Schedule
  • Used to identify mechanism of dissemination of
    results.
  • Progress/Interim reports
  • Informs client of progress.
  • Use Gantt Chart to illustrate progress
    (percentage complete).
  • Identify and quantify delays, describe impact of
    delays and your plan to overcome the delays.
  • Facilitates project management golden rule
  • Plan to Change.
  • Annotated Outline of Final Report.
  • Final Report.
  • Presentations/Seminars.
  • Publications.

20
Layout of Final Report
  • Chapter 1 Proposal written in past tense.
  • Chapter 2 Theoretical framework/literature
    search.
  • Chapter 3 Study results/findings.
  • Chapter 4 Interpretation of results.
  • Chapter 5 Summary, conclusions and future
    recommendations.
  • Appendices.
  • Appendix A Project Flow Chart.
  • Appendix B Project Team CVs.
  • Appendix C Project Gantt Chart.
  • Other Appendices as required to contain specific
    information.
  • i.e. data.

21
Closing
  • As an engineer, if you want to love life, love
    your job. This applies in the work you propose
    to undertake in your career.
  • Work in areas of fundamental interest to you
  • This helps fuel your effort.
  • May be applied or theoretical.
  • Has all components of an interesting engineering
    problem and/or engineering process.
  • Take pride in the final deliverables (report and
    presentation).
  • May want to add projects you do (including
    proposal) to your professional portfolio.
  • Job application portfolio.

22
Your GE 390 Proposal
  • Proposal writing is in my opinion, one of the
    most difficult but important exercises you
    undertake as a practicing engineer.
  • Take this exercise very seriously
  • Start to hone your skills now.
  • Try to implement the principles of the closure
    slide when writing your proposal.

23
Discussion
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