We’ve mentioned in Leader Responsibilities 4 how Leaders are to Request Proposals from the Team. This will lead to Reviewing those Proposals and Evaluating Results. From the perspective of Team Responsibilities, we’ve also covered Submitting & Executing Proposals [Team Responsibilities 5].
So like last month with the Organizational Charts, we wanted to provide you a resource that will help you practically apply these lessons with your team(s). Here we’ll share our Project Proposal template with you.
Templates help you know what information you need, and are formatted to help you work through the process and visualize the result. They are divided into sections that serve as place holders for your information and generally provide explanations for what each section should contain. This Project Proposal template may have more sections than you need for your specific project, or maybe you need to add space to certain sections, but you can just adjust it to your situation in order to communicate what you need to communicate.
A Project Proposal is both a planning and communication tool. Many things start as an idea tossed into the mix in the spur of a moment, but that’s a great time to request a proposal from the team. With a project proposal you show that you have already considered how the project or idea fits within the organization’s scope, why it is worth the time, money, people, and resources that would be required to achieve it, and what the end goals would be. The proposal then is a clear and organized way to present the idea so that the leadership can truly consider it.
How you apply this will depend on your organization and team culture. In some cases, a project proposal will be how to present an idea or initiate conversation about a suggestion. In other cases, an official proposal will be the result of lots of discussions, meetings, team work, and strategic planning. So there may be “initial proposals” and “final proposals”. Approving the initial proposal would give the team the go ahead they need to focus resources like time, energy, and finances on developing the ideas and plans further. Approving the final proposal would officially launch the project and give the team the go ahead to execute on it.
There must be a process of reviewing them and responding to those who submitted them. Have you ever submitted something and never heard back? Doesn't feel great. Let’s make sure to build this into the process and expectations with how we do teams and lead organizations. A leader can approve, not approve, or request adjustments.
I remember when I was actively pastoring the church in Germany, many people would come up to me before or after service with ideas… and these all seemed to be ideas they wanted me, the pastor, to do. After a while of this, we made a one page form titled, “I have a Bright Idea”. Then when someone came with an idea, I could point them back to the table and the form. A person can have the greatest idea known to man but if they just tell me instead of writing it down I will not remember everything. The form asked questions and made a person do research and think. Only one person ever filled out the form and did all the work, and it was a good, well-thought-out proposal so I approved it and we did it. But I had realized that I needed to start building the expectation into the congregation that they could and should take responsibility for more of the thought, research, and work around their ideas, rather than considering it the leader’s job to do it all. Proposals can be that way of initiating ideas.
With the Bible Schools we work with around the world, we receive proposals for new campuses. None of these are a surprise. There has already been a lot of preparation and planning with teams and leaders to get to that point. So these are generally final proposals. Once approved, the campus can be officially announced, promoted, and launched.
A great benefit of project proposals is that they serve as written records of ideas. Not every proposal will be approved right away. Sometimes a proposal needs more work, or maybe the timing isn't right to execute it. But even if the proposal is not used (yet), since you have this record, it can always be pulled back out, updated, and used later.
The approved proposal also serves as a standard for evaluating the project while it's in process and once it's complete. Is it on budget? Are we meeting expected timelines? Why?... Without a written record of what the plan and expectations are, it is very hard to know if you are on target.
Project Proposal Template:
Click below to download the free resource:
Have any questions about how to incorporate proposals into your processes? Contact us at email@example.com