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I've been reading over some proposals for software projects recently and I'm a little concerned by what I've seen. Often I feel that proposals have been rushed and/or poorly thought out.

It's very possible that proposals don't need to look like a basket of fruit, but if your pitching for work or seeking approval for funding, there has to be some guidelines available for what constitutes a "decent" proposal.

I was wondering if anyone was aware of good guidelines for writing software proposals or could possibly point me at books/websites etc?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Having written and been part of numerous project proposals, the key thing is: know your audience. Presumably, the people you are writing to have the power to accept/decline funding (financially, people power, etc.). Ensure that you show them in their language why this little project of yours will be beneficial to them (and everyone).

Think about:

  • What your project will achieve
  • How your project will achieve its goals
  • How to make your project stand out from other project proposals
  • The amount of terminology the readership is accustomed to seeing
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Kind of goes without saying but focus on what value the project has to the organization and why/how its going to save money. That savings could be direct bottom line dollars or in efficiencies.

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