New project idea? Time for a project proposal template

This project proposal template will help you organize your thoughts, goals, and objectives for this project into an actionable document and help you get buy-in

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What is a project proposal and its purpose?

Do you have an incredible idea but need to get buy-in from others to get their involvement, approval, and/or budget? That’s where a project proposal comes in.

The project proposal is a document that acts as the first step to bringing a project idea to life. When complete, it transforms a nugget of an idea into a rationalized, actionable proposal to make the project a reality. The proposal should briefly and convincingly describe why the project should move forward and include goals, timelines, budget, requirements, and an expected outcome.

Without a project proposal, most won’t give the idea entailed in it much consideration. In a professional setting, it’s often a requirement to get the ball rolling on an initiative.

What’s the best format to use for a project proposal?

A project proposal should be created on a Microsoft Word or Google Docs document for an in-depth, all-encompassing overview of the project’s proposal. Given the details required to propose the project, it could go on for several pages. You can also create the proposal in presentation format via PowerPoint or Google Slides. This format may work better for a kickoff meeting, as slides might have limited space.

Still, the best format for a project proposal is a document. You can use his free project proposal template on Google Docs to organize your thoughts and ideas around your project to successfully pitch it and bring the project to life.

What should be in a project proposal?

A project proposal should contain the following pieces of information to get buy-in for a proposed project:

  1. Problem/Opportunity overview. Provide a background for what first caused the project to be thought of
  2. Project overview. Explain the holistic idea around the project and why it’s the ideal solution to the problem as mentioned above or opportunity
  3. Project goals. Explain what is expected to be accomplished following the project’s completion, including revenue and/or return on investment
  4. Timeline. Provide a step-by-step list of what tasks must be completed and when
  5. Stakeholders. List out all of those who will be involved in this project and what roles they will have
  6. Budget. Justify the proposed cost of the project by noting where funds will be allocated
  7. FAQs/Extra considerations. Provide any additional context that may be needed to get the project approved

How do you begin a project proposal?

A project proposal should begin with a quick background on what sparked the idea for the project in the first place. This could be an observation in your organization, a piece of feedback from a colleague or customer, or reading about how a similar project worked elsewhere. From there, explain what the idea for the project is and why you think it solves a problem or taps into a new opportunity. Since the purpose of a project proposal is to get approval, this foundation frames the project proposal to legitimize the idea for the project and what the concept aims to address.

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