The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions. This is particularly important because of the nature of many corporation proposal-type documents. I have both written and received a fair number of these myself, and I know that the real skill in writing them lies not in finding a solution to your problem, but in finding a problem to your solution… The skill lies in making it appear that [the solution proposal] are merely the inevitable steps toward the solution of a genuine and pressing problem that concerns the whole department or the whole company.
Source: Antony Jay, Management + Machiavelli
Key concept for those of you who are writing proposals: spend a little more time upfront framing the problem before jumping into the solution. The proposed solution should seem like a natural next step if the correct problem is understood and addressed.
Anyone have a great proposal example? I’ve been spending more time recently thinking about how to make this experience better for our clients at Elias while at the same time balancing demands of project management best practice and time constraints.