Project Proposals: Involve the Project Manager!

Anju is a Program Manager, John Snow Labs in Delhi.

On more than one occasion, you might come across projects that are badly scoped or have unrealistic timelines—yet they are implemented regardless of whether they can be objectively justified. Sometimes, you might be lucky and manage to sail through such projects; but most of the time, these projects are a dead end for project managers.

Sound familiar? Why do these projects even exist? In this article, I’ll share my story of such a dead end—partly to gain some sympathy (well, not really!), but mostly to generate more awareness among stakeholders as to why it’s important for PMs to be involved in the contract-creation process. It is one of the most important factors for project success.

A project proposal is a core document the helps you sell a potential project to sponsors and stakeholders. In larger projects with a customer/contractor relationship, on the side of the contractor, a proposal team will own the project management process in the definition and planning phases—until the contract is signed.

It then hands the reins over to an implementation team. In the first two phases, a proposal manager is in charge; they then transfer project responsibility to a project manager for the implementation and closure phases.

After the proposal has been finalized and agreed upon, it’s time for the contract—a vital document for a …

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