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I have an idea for training that I would like to have our company implement and I would like to spend the time to write it out in proposal form so it can be distributed and discussed (and hopefully approved) by the upper management. I have a sample of a grant proposal as my only template for this exercise and I was wondering if there are any better samples of an internal proposal or outline that anyone could share?

rwwh's picture

I can suggest you to read the book [i]the pyramid principle[/i] by Barbara Minto.

bflynn's picture

What you need to include is dependent on your project. An IT project is very different that proposing a new product or line extension. Both are different than a new HR initiative. My thought is that a grant proposal probably isn't a great starting point for a business proposal.

Can you elaborate just a little? Also, you don't need to supply the answer, but can you justify the project from a business standpoint? Why should the company spend money on your project rather than something else?

Brian

grwade's picture

Thanks for taking time to reply. My proposal is this: I work for a construction company. We spend a lot of time trying to deal with very different project dynamics from job to job. Some jobs you have architects that have their heads in the clouds and you can't get concrete answers. Some jobs you can't get the owner to pay on time and it slows down the job. I would like to propose to my company that we spend time training the incoming project managers about some of the practical aspects of industrial psychology as it applies to our business. There are a lot of senior managers in our company who have successfully overcome bad dynamics by such simple techniques as setting up a weekly status meeting to keep an owner's rep from getting blindsided in a weekly meeting with the owner. I would like to facilitate a program to train the younger managers rather than just letting them struggle through it to learn. I hope this makes sense. I am sure I can justify it from a business standpoint, but I have to find a way to quantify it. Thanks for any input.

[quote="bflynn"]What you need to include is dependent on your project. An IT project is very different that proposing a new product or line extension. Both are different than a new HR initiative. My thought is that a grant proposal probably isn't a great starting point for a business proposal.

Can you elaborate just a little? Also, you don't need to supply the answer, but can you justify the project from a business standpoint? Why should the company spend money on your project rather than something else?

Brian[/quote]

bflynn's picture

I understand what you're asking.

My first recommendation is to not write. Talk with your manager first to see if this is even feasible. More communication is better. Drafting the perfect document and sending it to him won't be effective. Talking will be. You should have convinced your boss to move forward before you put effort into making the plan. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Get out and do it.

Eventually you'll have to write something down, both for record keeping and for sharing the information. The structure I'd recommend is

Summary - brief summary of your proposal. Five sentences max.
Description - more detailed description. Less than a page.
Justification - Why is this necessary? How much does it earn/cost? What is the rate of return. Are the cash flows reasonable? If you move to the point of implementation, expect this to be hit hard.
Action Plan - what is the best guess at the steps necessary. Not too detailed.

Most of your work should be on the justification side. It will be the part most scrutinized.

Brian

rwwh's picture

If you need to write something, make sure to make the document easy to read. You are on the right track by asking the question how this is done well.

Barbara Minto would suggest the following:
- Describe the current situation
- Describe the complication this causes
- Give the question you are trying to answer
- Answer it

The answer should be the bottom line first, with more detailed sub-questions answered after in a pyramid structure.

grwade's picture

Thank you for your help! I will be sure to read the book. I do appreciate your time. I will let you know how it goes.

[quote="rwwh"]If you need to write something, make sure to make the document easy to read. You are on the right track by asking the question how this is done well.

Barbara Minto would suggest the following:
- Describe the current situation
- Describe the complication this causes
- Give the question you are trying to answer
- Answer it

The answer should be the bottom line first, with more detailed sub-questions answered after in a pyramid structure.[/quote]

grwade's picture

Brian,
Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it. I talked with my vice-president today, and he has an operations meeting next Friday where he suggested that we discuss it. Thanks for taking the time to help with this!

[quote="bflynn"]I understand what you're asking.

My first recommendation is to not write. Talk with your manager first to see if this is even feasible. More communication is better. Drafting the perfect document and sending it to him won't be effective. Talking will be. You should have convinced your boss to move forward before you put effort into making the plan. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Get out and do it.

Eventually you'll have to write something down, both for record keeping and for sharing the information. The structure I'd recommend is

Summary - brief summary of your proposal. Five sentences max.
Description - more detailed description. Less than a page.
Justification - Why is this necessary? How much does it earn/cost? What is the rate of return. Are the cash flows reasonable? If you move to the point of implementation, expect this to be hit hard.
Action Plan - what is the best guess at the steps necessary. Not too detailed.

Most of your work should be on the justification side. It will be the part most scrutinized.

Brian[/quote]