A colleague of mine has a problem. We belong to same association and he's been trying for quite some time, without success, to get support for one of his proposals.
His lack of results came to mind when a reader asked for ideas about making internal proposals more effective. As she noted in her message, it's necessary to make a business case for proposals, including costs and returns.
She's right, and I agree wholeheartedly. In fact I just finished a proposal to an organization I work with and had it accepted on that sort of basis.
But, I think all good proposals start where my colleague has trouble. They start with a clear and concise statement about project: "This is what I recommend, this is issue (problem or opportunity) it addresses, and these are consequences (benefits) of doing what I recommend."
I frequently come across situations where ideas don't fly because person making proposal hasn't prepared that kind of analysis and statement. While virtue of ideas seems apparent to him or to her, it's not at all apparent to others. I've referred to it elsewhere as 'Everybody knows' syndrome.
To do analysis, and later write statement, start with a description of action that you want taken. In just a few words, write down what you want to see happen, and how it changes status quo. For example, I recently went to a meeting with a proposal that went like this: Change duration of our event to four weeks from current duration of six weeks, to reduce our costs during a slow period.
Next, name or list people or functions involved. Who will take action? Do you want just one person to act, or several, or many? And, if it involves a multi-stage action, set out stages. For example, "I would like this committee to formulate a recommendation we can put to a vote at annual meeting."