PLANNING THE INTERNAL PROPOSAL
The goal of a proposal is to convince the person or group in authority to r allow the writer to implement his or her idea. To achieve this goal, the writer must consider the audience, use visual aids, understand organizational principles, and design a format.
Consider the Audience
Writers consider the audience of a proposal in at least three ways; according to their involvement, their knowledge, and their authority.
How Involved Is the Audience? • In most cases, readers of a proposal either have assigned the proposal and are aware of the problem, or they have not assigned the proposal and are unaware of the problem. For example suppose a problem develops with a particular assembly line. The production engineer in charge might assign a subordinate to investigate the situation “and recommend a solution. In this assigned proposal, the writer does not have to establish that the problem is a problem; but he or she does’ have to show how the proposal will solve the problem. More often, however, the audience does not assign’ the proposal. For instance, a man larger could become aware that a new arrangement of her floor space could create better sales potential. If she decides to propose a rearrangement, she must, in a situation like this, first convince her audience – her supervisor – that the problem is a problem, and then offer a convincing solution.
How Knowledgeable Is the Audience? The audience mayor may not know the concepts and facts involved in either the problem or the solution. You must learn to estimate the level of knowledge that your audience possesses. If the .audience is less knowledgeable, take care to define terms, give background, and use common examples or analogies.
How Much Authority Docs the Audience Have? The audience may or may not be able to order implementation of your proposed solution. A manager might assign the writer to investigate problems with the material flow of a particular product line, but most likely the manager will have to take the proposal to a higher authority before it is approved. So the writer must bear in mind the multiple readers who may see-and approve (or reject) the proposal.
Consider Your Own Position
Your position mirrors the audience’s position. You either will have been assigned to write the proposal or will have discovered the problem or need yourself. In case, you don’t are to establish that the problem is a problem, but ) our do have to show how your proposed solution matches the dimensions or the problem. In the second case, you have to establish’ that “the problem is a problem and then explain your solution.
]Use Visual Aids
Since the proposal probably will have multiple-audiences, visual aids can enhance its impact, Visuals can support any part of the proposal the problem, the solution, the implementation, the benefits. In addition to the tables and graphs described .
the reader can see the project’s entire schedule. See Figure 14.1 for an example of a chart. Diagrams Many kinds of diagrams, such as flow charts, block diagrams, organization charts, and decision trees, will enhance a proposal.Layouts, for instance, are effective for proposals that suggest rearranging space. A good example of a layout is In that proposal the layout simplifies the writer’s job by communicating complicated details.
Organizing the Proposal
The writer should the proposal around four questions:
1. What is the problem?
2. What is the solution?
3. Can the solution be implemented?
4. Should the solution be implemented?
What Is the Problem? Describing the problem is a key part of many proposals. You mus: establish three things about the problem:
The data are the actual facts! that a person can perceive. The significance implies off from a standard you hope to maintain, To explain the significance of the problem, you show that the current situation has negative effects on productivity or puts you in an undesirable position. The problem.itself. If you can incriminate the cause, you will eliminate the negative effects. To be credible, you must show that you have investigated the problem thoroughly by talking to the right people, looking at the right records, making the right inspection, showing the appropriate data, or whatever. In the following section from a proposal, the writer describes a problem.
The current problem in Junior Sportswear is a 20% decrease in sales over the past 1989 year. In 1988,sales averaged Data $30,000 per month and contributed 10% to total store sales. In 1989, sales averaged $24,000 per month, and contribution only 7% to total store sales. The cause 0 the decrease in sales can be traced to the display fixtures. The current wall mixtures and 5-loot bar racks do not let us call attention to special merchandise at the department entrance. The wall fixtures line the back and side walls of the department; their position makes It difficult to capture the attention of customers walking past. barefoot racks hold the merchandise sideways in mass quantities, and make it impossible to show the legislatures and . colors of the new merchandise.
The current ·placement and setup of fixtures do not allow the customer traffic pattern to flow through the merchandise from the front to the back 01 the department. Nor do customers ave enough room to step back and view the merchandise.
The mixtures that are now in the department are made 01 wood and molded plastic. These materials do not blend in with the sleek and modern “hi-tech” image of the department. The fixtures also do not utilize the available 2300 square feet of selling space to its sales potential. Currently 300 square are wasted by the placement 01 the 5-loot bar racks in straight lines, Cause of problem of each aspect of the problem
What Is the Solution? To explain the solution, explain each of its parts. Explain hew your solution will eliminate the cause,” thus eliminating whatever is out of step with the standard you hope to maintain. If the problem is causing an undesirable condition, say a high percentage of damaged parts, then the solution must show how the condition can be eliminated. If the .old layout of a department in a store is not attracting customers, then the writer must show how the new layout will.
The solution that I propose is to replace the current fixtures with black and silver chrome T-stands, spirals, and waterfall fixtures. We could still make use of the wall fixtures and transfer the 5-loot bar racks to the Athletic Sports wear department. With the new fixtures, we should be able to attract more customers into the department and display the merchandise to optimum advantage.
Can the Solution Be Implemented? The writer must show that all the systems involved in the proposal can be put into effect. To make this clear to the audience, you would explain the cost the effect on personnel the schedule for implementing the changes This section may be difficult to write because it is difficult to be certain about what the audience needs to know.
Cost of Implementation
The purchase cost of the new fixtures is $112800, 3S shown in Table 1. Total cost of the project, including $1080 for installation, is $2208.00.
Cost of Fixtures and Installation
We can purchase the fixtures iron our vendor, the can fill our order Within two weeks. The reconfiguration will take three days and will cost $1 J80. Day 1 – Empty wall racks; place merchandise in storeroom Maintenance crew removes wall fixtures and fills holes in the walls. Day 2 – Painters paint all walls (The color, sandstone, will match the carpet used throughout the Sportswear depart ? Day 3 – Install fixtures; place clothing on them. Schedule During these three days, the department will operate at reduced capacity for a day and a half. Salespeople will help empty and fill the racks. One salesperson will take three vacation days, and the part-time help will not be scheduled.
Effect on personnel Should the Solution Be Implemented? Just because you call implement the solution docs not mean that you should, To convince someone that you should be allowed to implement your solution, you must demonstrate either that the solution has benefits that make it desirable or that it the established criteria in the situation, or both. In an unsolicited proposal, you will find it easier to demonstrate benefits after you have carefully defined the problem. When you are assigned a proposal, concentrate on showing how the solution fits the given problem. In the following section, the writer pinpoints the benefits of the proposed solution, stressing how it will eliminate the negative aspects of the situation.
Benefits of the Solution
By replacing the fixtures, we can place the new merchandise near the department entrance to.draw in customers, They will be able to.see special styles, details, and colors of the merchandise. The customers will also.be led through a flow pattern by the proper placement of the new fixtures. The new fixtures will tie together the over hi-tech theme of the Junior Sportswear department. Using this theme is important: it helps make the target customer more excited about shopping and more inclined to.make purchases. The new fixtures also.will benefit the department by Increasing the amount of merchandise carried. We can carry a wider and more current selection to.attract a broader customer base. With the addition of new lines, customer sales will increase.
Designing the Proposal
To design a proposal, select an appropriate format, either A formal proposal will have a title page, table of contents, and sum The format for an informal proposal can be a memo report or some kind of reprinted form The format depends on company policy and on the distance that the proposal must travel in the hierarchy, Usually the shorter the distance, the more informal the format. Also the less significant the proposal, the more informal the for mat. For instance you would not send an elaborately formatted proposal to your immediate superior to suggest a $50 solution to·a layout problem.