These resources may be funds, men and material, office space, vehicles and so on. A proposal while seeking the allocation of resources should substantiate the need and make out a case.

A project proposal, as the name indicates, is a proposal for undertaking a project. Since any proposal is a kind of persuasion, a project proposal puts forth clearly the nature of and need for undertaking the project. A project could be a plan, a task, a turn key job, an assignment or a research study. A project proposal may be internal or external.

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It may be submitted by a department within an organization to the sanctioning authority or senior management. Externally, it may relate from one business organization to the other, which has a need for that facility. Preparation of a project report requires substantial skills. A typical project may involve the following:

Technical Feasibility:

To decide whether in terms of technical aspects, the project is doable. If so, then details of availability, expertise, time frame, quality and level of sophistication should be worked on.

Economic Viability:

To decide whether the project has merits in terms of demand and supply, resources to be put to use, environmental and seasonal factors and so on.

Financial Strength:

To decide what kinds of funds the project requires, both short term and long term, how the funds can be raised, cost-benefit analysis of the proposal, etc. Some examples of projects would be a residential school project, a poultry development proposal, an irrigation or power project, a travel agency proposal and so on. It could be small or large, a new activity or an expansion, undertaken independently or jointly with other agencies. Each has its own implications for drafting or preparing the project proposal. Each aspect, whether technical or economic or financial should be properly presented.

Cost-benefit details have to be clearly spelt out. The receiver of the proposal should be in a position to get a total view of what is proposed, and take an appropriate decision on merits. Sometimes large proposals are put up to committees and the person submitting the proposal may be invited to make a presentation and clarify doubts. Technical jargon, if any, may have to be explained in clear terms.

It is worth noting that proposals are essentially a form of persuasion. The proposer has to state clearly the rationale, the merit or the ‘why’ of the proposal. In other words, the purpose statement has to be very carefully drawn up in respect of large proposals. In a business context, given intense competition, it is likely that there are several competitors submitting their proposals for consideration and sanction or award. Clarity, completeness, forceful presentation, timeliness and a user-friendly approach have to be essential ingredients for any good project proposal.