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1/28 Proposals Dr. Thomas L. Warren, Professor Technical Writing Program Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 74078

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Presentation on theme: "1/28 Proposals Dr. Thomas L. Warren, Professor Technical Writing Program Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 74078"— Presentation transcript:

1 1/28 Proposals Dr. Thomas L. Warren, Professor Technical Writing Program Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 74078

2 2/28 Overview Proposals in general Typical parts of a proposal Questions RFPProposalRecommendation Project Completion Report Feasibility

3 3/28 Definition of Proposal Written offer to...... perform work, do research, or solve problems ... another person has—who says, “How do I solve this problem of ‘Should I convert the Accounting Department from PC- compatible computers to Mac?’” ... proposal writer has—who says, “I have this problem of needing funding for my research project.”

4 4/28 Definition, cont. Directed toward Governmental agency or agencies  Agency has a need—Request for Proposal = RFP Foundation  Agency has a need: RFP Company: Internal  Department has a need: RFP

5 5/28 Proposal Types (Generally) Solicited: Responds to an RFP Formal—complete with all the parts (cover, title page, front and back matter) Informal—typically an internal memo Unsolicited Formal Informal

6 6/28 Types Proposal Known to Reader Unknown to Reader Known to Reader Unknown to Reader SolicitedUnsolicited FORMAL/INFORMAL

7 7/28 Rhetorical Situation Your proposal will will persuade the reader that... you have a task analysis with reasonable assignments... and a realistic schedule with balanced work loads... you are qualified to work on the problem... you have a risk management plan... the schedule shows that you can complete the project on time

8 8/28 Typical Parts of a Proposal Format Front matter Introduction Body I.Technical section II.Management section III.Cost section Conclusion Attachments (Appendix materials)

9 9/28 Typical Parts of the Proposal I.Technical elements—the technical solution to the problem II.Management—proving that you can do what you say you will do III.Cost—how much the solution will cost

10 10/28 I. Technical Section Focus on client’s needs Understand the client’s... ... limitations ... capabilities Presents the problem(s) Does client know of problem? Determines... ... amount of background ... technical detail

11 11/28 I. Technical Section, cont. Technical details Must convince client of... ... your understanding of the problem ... the soundness of the technical solution Provides a plan (tasks and schedule) for solving the problem

12 12/28 I. Technical Section, cont. Contains Project´s purpose/scope (limitations) Methods/procedures (steps) and rationale Resources (physical, personnel, literature, etc.) Task breakdown (what will be done) and timetable (when will it be done)

13 13/28 I. Technical Section, cont. Schedule Steps and tasks to solve the problem Time each task will take Start and end dates; relation to other tasks, duration and dependencies Personnel working on the task  Currently available  Need to hire (justify)

14 14/28 II. Management Section Qualifications (prove you and your group can do the work) Focus on requirements to complete this work Formal schooling  Courses taken in area of work  Similar projects completed successfully Experience  Work on similar projects  Previous proposals submitted Reference résumés in Appendix

15 15/28 III. Costs Budget I (usually not published; internal) Direct costs to you to solve the problem Include costs of final report Budget II (published; part of proposal) Costs to others to complete project Relate specifically to methods/ procedures At Proposal stage, "GOOD" estimates At Recommendation stage, “EXCELLENT” estimates

16 16/28 Conclusion Last chance to “sell” client/reader Summary of project Problem Need for solution/benefits Methods/procedures Expected results Costs Urge for action by client/reader

17 17/28 Appendix Materials Personnel resources and qualifications Working bibliography Additional information reader may need—for example Maps or photographs Histories of problem/proposed solution(s) Balance sheets to support need Résumés

18 18/28 Typical Proposal Content Introduction Overview of document Establish rhetorical position Analysis of Problem and Solution(s) Audience/Client Analysis Research Plan Work Plan with Schedule and Risk Management Plan Qualifications Required Resources

19 19/28 Typical Sections Introduction Subject, purpose, scope, plan of development, assumed reader, and action for this memo Appropriateness of topic Feasibility of success

20 20/28 Typical Sections, cont. Analysis of problem and solution(s) Statement of the problem Scope and purpose of project Context in which problem is situated Significance of problem (what happens if you do not solve the problem?) Consequences of solving the problem (economic, technical, social, etc.) Solution criteria Possible solution(s)

21 21/28 Typical Sections, cont. Analysis of client/reader Primary reader = client (person who has approval authority) Secondary and tertiary readers

22 22/28 Typical Sections, cont.. Research Plan How will you investigate the problem/ solution(s)? Identify  Questions to be answered  Information required—what are you looking for  Methodology for acquiring information  Resources used for research

23 23/28 Typical Sections, cont. Work and risk management plans Key to convincing reader that you will solve the problem Covers from researching the problem to writing the final report (including various drafts and presentations) Include  Approach to the plan and schedule  Comprehensive list of tasks and responsible team member(s)  Risk management plan focused on what happens when Murphy’s Law kicks in

24 24/28 Typical Sections, cont.. Qualifications Team’s qualifications for completing project Described individually in terms of required tasks Submit résumés focusing on this project— most companies boilerplate this section

25 25/28 Typical Sections, cont. Resources required to complete project Physical resources (labs, sites, computers, etc.) Libraries, software, and internet Personnel (client, survey recipients, experts to consult, etc.) Budget to solve problem  Secondary budget NOT in proposal is costs to prepare proposal  Maintained internally only

26 26/28 Budgets Costs to solve the problem Costs to actually do the solution Budget IBudget II In Proposal Memo In Executive Summary with details in Appendix

27 27/28 Typical Sections, cont. Closing—request approval, willingness to answer questions, and how to contact team members

28 28/28 Conclusion Proposals are persuasive documents that respond to problems Major source for products and services Sections Technical—problem-solution Management—perform work described Cost—budget to complete project Solicited and unsolicited

29 29/28 Questions

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