Components of a Project Proposal

project proposal hintsThe project proposal is a pre-project document that recommends a project for initiation, provides a rationale for the project, and suggests approaches and staffing. The proposal is an early component of project documentation that serves to launch the project. It does not necessarily consider or incorporate the entire technical solution for the project, but does offer a suggestion that the project is appropriate, necessary, and worthwhile.


Less detailed than a formal feasibility study or analysis, the project proposal is intended to raise awareness that a project may be appropriate and viable. It can be used at almost any level of the organization and is usually drafted by a team member or senior executive. At a minimum, it provides a general description of what the project is supposed to accomplish and how or when it could be implemented. At the extreme, it may describe not only the project deliverables, but the approach, the resources to be applied, and the alternative approaches that could be used for implementation. It is used to present ideas to anyone responsible for project selection and to initiate the selection process.


The project proposal defends a particular perspective or approach to solving a problem or creating a solution. Some of the items, as noted in the following list, may be considered "optional" content for the project proposal. However, they will ultimately have to be included in some project analysis before a final go/no-go determination is made.

The information embedded in the project proposal is often couched as a sales pitch or enticement to encourage other members of the organization to support the effort. Even so, the information included in the proposal should be presented as objectively as possible. The project proposal should incorporate the following items:

• Name of the project. This should be descriptive, rather than creative.

• Initiator of the project. This is the author of the project proposal, including name, function, and contact information.

• Project sponsor/champion (optional). Provide the name of the senior management or executive level authority supporting the project's initiation.

• Technical/support organization (optional). As appropriate, list the name of the functional organization primarily responsible for project implementation.

• Project description and justification. Provide a general description of the project, including the impetus for implementation.

• Recommended manager/resources. List any specific resources or resource skill sets required for project success, as well as the rationale for their selection.

• Project budget/schedule (optional). As appropriate and available, this information, if included, should be provided with a relative range of accuracy to denote the confidence level in the numbers provided.

Here is a n example of project proposal form.


The project proposal is most commonly an internal document. But because it proposes a change to current business or operating practices, it may be considered a politically volatile document. In developing the project proposal, the more and higher the levels of sponsorship and support, the more likely it is to be received favorably.

Considering the components of a project proposal, the video below aims to offer you more info on how to actually write a winning proposal.[youtube]

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