Lesson 10: What to Include in Your Proposal Project Plan

A proposal project plan is your one-stop-shop for all of the information needed to manage a proposal from start to finish.

Your plan should include a breakdown of each proposal section, who is responsible for what, deadlines and submission requirements.

Compliance becomes difficult without a plan to outline project requirements and progression, and it is easy to lose track of the who, what, where, when, and how of the proposal.

You will need to customize your proposal project plans for each opportunity, but typically, you should include the following:

  • An opportunity overview.
  • Pursuit team roles and contact information.
  • An outline of requirements and status updates.
  • Delivery requirements for on-time and compliant proposal delivery.

Opportunity Overview:

The opportunity overview is a rundown of the entire effort that summarizes RFP and internal expectations. Create the opportunity overview based on information found in the RFP, including:

  • RFP issuer name.
  • RFP title.
  • Brief description of the scope of work.
  • Bidder name.
  • Important RFP dates.
  • Delivery method.
  • Link to collaboration site, if applicable.

Pursuit Team:

List each member of the proposal team as well as their:

  • Title.
  • Company.
  • Pursuit team role.
  • Phone numbers.
  • Email address.
  • Availability including vacation and holidays.
  • Location and time zone (if working with remote teams.)

Knowing who is involved, their contact information, and their availability will help proposal managers set up meetings, schedule reviews, and mitigate risk.

Plan Outline:

The bulk of a project plan consists of a section-by-section breakdown of each requirement, including:

  • Document name.
  • Section title.
  • Win themes.
  • Question.
  • Owner(s), supporter(s), and reviewer(s).
  • 1st draft deadline.
  • 2nd draft deadline.
  • Final draft deadline.

Note any limitations listed in the RFP such as word or page limitations and special formatting requirements. And make sure to update the status of each project task. We recommend using a color-coded progress bar highlighting whether a project is “not started,” “in progress,” “ready for review,” or “complete.”

Delivery Requirements

Finally, you must be aware of the proposal delivery requirements. Your timeline will vary depending on the delivery method (email, upload, or hard copy).

Email submissions and portal uploads are usually quick and straightforward, while hard copy submissions take more planning and reduce your composition timeline to allow for travel.

If email submission:

  • Document format.
  • Naming conventions.
  • Client contact.
  • Email address.

If portal submission:

  • Username.
  • Password.
  • Document format.
  • Naming conventions.

If physical submission:

  • Client contact.
  • Physical Address.
  • Proposal Mail Date.
  • Travel Time Needed.

Key Takeaways:

Proposal plans are all-encompassing documents designed to keep each aspect of your proposal effort on track. Investing time to thoroughly build your proposal plan will enable your team to stay organized and accountable throughout the project.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

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