Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Proposal Framework

I discovered the following framework for proposals (no not that kind!) while reading Marks and Meaning by Dave Gray. When making a proposal the golden rule is to keep it simple, brief and to the point. Here's the template Dave suggests:

  1. Why should you care: Briefly describe the problem and why the "as is" state needs to change.
  2. What you/we stand to gain: Briefly describe the "end state" you envision
  3. What I propose: Describe what you want to do, with special attention what's unique or different. You might need to explain how or why it is different than things that have been tried before.
  4. How it will work: Describe the resources you will need, and break down the entire plan into three easy-to-understand steps, complete with milestones and deadlines.
  5. Risk considerations: Take a balanced view and do your best to define the risks, relative to the rewards, of proceeeding
  6. Next steps: What specific action(s) fo you want from the person you're making the proposal to, right now?

As I jotted down this proposal I was reminded of an occasion a few months back when I excitedly shared an idea that I'd dreamed up with one of my colleagues. His response - sheer bewilderment. On reflection, I realise that I'd fast-tracked to Stage 3 and left him standing haplessly at Stage 1.

Sell the problem first before attempting to sell the solution. It's one of the cardinal rules of consultancy, i guess. If the customer doesn't realise that they have a problem then they're not likely to be too open to your solution, regardless of your tear jerking and heartfelt pitch.

No comments:

Post a Comment