IT PROJECT PROPOSAL PREPARATION

The 2 main types of internal IT project proposal for replacing business systems, such as a CRM system are: 1. Outline proposal for system selection and system replacement in principle – to obtain approval for limited funds to undertake the system selection process 2. Detailed proposal to implement a replacement system – carried out at the end of the system selection process – to obtain approval for much larger funds to purchase (or rent) new software, plus hardware, consultancy, training and implementation costs If your organisation has a defined internal project approval process or framework, you will have to closely follow it if you wish to obtain project approval. If there is no defined process, you will have greater choice as to what and how to include in a proposal. But this probably makes it harder, so consider the following points when preparing your IT project proposal: Ensure you fully understand the business and end user needs for the project. If you have yet to prepare more than a ‘back of the envelope’ spec of requirements, Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates can help you to quickly and easily prepare your requirements specification, RFI and RFP. Make sure the business and user needs (requirements) are crystal-clear in the proposal. Understand what the other key project drivers are eg cost containment, time scale, project quality. Once known, make sure you give this adequate emphasis within the proposal. Next, consider the proposal recipients ie the executive management / board, what they are looking for, the information they require and what is important to them and the organisation. Then provide the information they require eg if they want details give them, if not don’t. If you are unsure what they want – find out, before preparing the proposal. Picture them going through your proposal with a checklist – does your proposal tick all their boxes? Plan the proposal before you write it and then stick to the plan. For each proposal plan item consider the executive’s requirements, their evaluation criteria, emphasis. Purpose of proposal eg to persuade the executive management / board to: replace the system in principle approve and fund the proposed course of action Put the most important information up front. Say what the project will do for them ie the benefits. Use positive statements. State clearly what actions you want them to do eg review the it project proposal, approve the project, approve funding. Consider using story boards or annotated outlines to build a draft proposal first and then fill in the detail for each story board or heading. Try to get it right the first time, as continued editing / fine tuning can take up a disproportionate amount of time. Consider preparing the proposal using a single author or a team. It is a lot of work for one person, who needs to have all the required skills. Using multiple authors spreads the workload, but requires careful control, communication, collaboration and proposal editing.

1. PROPOSAL CHECKLIST - OUTLINE IT PROJECT PROPOSAL - FOR SYSTEM SELECTION /

SYSTEM REPLACEMENT IN PRINCIPLE

Summary Proposed project name Purpose of proposal Executive summary Objectives Project goals and objectives Expected outcomes, deliverables and beneficiaries Project description Definition of the problem and project background Proposed solution Strengths, weaknesses, reliability, scalability, security of the proposed solution Project scope / parameters Business area(s) affected eg where the work will be done, where the benefits will arise Key project components eg software, hardware, database, network, business process re- engineering (BPR) requirements Conformity to organisational technology strategies and standards Technical impact of project and compatibility with existing infrastructure Summarised business and user needs Sponsor and stakeholder acceptance of the proposal Benefits Expected benefits from the project including tangible benefits, cost savings or income, as well as intangible (soft) benefits How the project enhances / replaces the existing system, the benefits of a new technology system Costs Expected costs for the project Analysed by system selection phase, implementation phase, ongoing costs, total budget required, budgetary limits Business case Business case justifying the project, based on the expected costs and benefits ROI, NPV, IRR, Payback calculations Methodologies System selection methodology Overview of how the proposal will be undertaken Proposed project implementation methodology / technical approach Project constraints eg system architecture, critical dates Project plan Outline project plans – for both system selection and system implementation Plans to show key activities, dates, and deliverables Milestones and measurements / metrics of the outcomes Time scales Start and end dates Key stages Interim milestone dates Project management How the project will be managed How work will be organised / supervised Communications Resources Resources for system selection in some detail (but only an overview for the implementation) Project team, roles, and responsibilities Resource plan, allocation Resource details, qualifications, experience, skills Training requirements Risks Risk analysis and management / mitigation Assessments Assessment of existing system(s) Assessment of alternative proposals, evaluations and why they have been rejected Implications of doing nothing, why this is not an acceptable option Assumptions All assumptions used in the IT project proposal

2. PROPOSAL CHECKLIST - DETAILED IT PROJECT PROPOSAL - TO IMPLEMENT A

REPLACEMENT SYSTEM

Essentially a revision and update of the outline it project proposal (above), with more information added. Summary and objectives Revise as appropriate Project description Revise based on knowledge of chosen software / hardware, detailed user requirements and data, software selection process workings, statement of work Benefits Revise based on latest workings, analysis of proposed solution Costs Revise and firm up – base on quoted vendor prices eg for software, hardware, maintenance, latest revised estimates for consultancy, training, resources Business case Revise based on latest costs and benefits Methodology Methodology for system implementation may need revising based on later knowledge and / or the software vendor practices Project plan Prepare detailed system implementation plans, even if only include a summary within the proposal Updated plans to include key activities, tasks, resourcing, gantt charts, dependencies, work schedules Implementation schedule Schedule of major milestones, dates with associated deliverables Stakeholder acceptance of the implementation plan Time scales and project management Revise based on latest information Resources Revise based on implementation requirements, need for external consultancy, internal staff skills and availability Risks Update risk analysis and management Assumptions Revise accordingly Additional details: Ongoing support requirements Quality assurance Vendor contract and service level agreement For more IT project proposal information visit: Reasons for changing software / Project scope checklist / IT project proposal / Proposal format / Basic ROI calculation / ROI calculator and tips for maximising systems project ROI / Hidden costs of acquiring software / Project budget template and tips for improving IT software budgets / Proposal evaluation sheet

IT Project Proposal

Preparation tips and proposal checklists for IT project proposals

Axia Consulting

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IT PROJECT PROPOSAL PREPARATION

The 2 main types of internal IT project proposal for replacing business systems, such as a CRM system are: 1. Outline proposal for system selection and system replacement in principle – to obtain approval for limited funds to undertake the system selection process 2. Detailed proposal to implement a replacement system – carried out at the end of the system selection process – to obtain approval for much larger funds to purchase (or rent) new software, plus hardware, consultancy, training and implementation costs If your organisation has a defined internal project approval process or framework, you will have to closely follow it if you wish to obtain project approval. If there is no defined process, you will have greater choice as to what and how to include in a proposal. But this probably makes it harder, so consider the following points when preparing your IT project proposal: Ensure you fully understand the business and end user needs for the project. If you have yet to prepare more than a ‘back of the envelope’ spec of requirements, Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates can help you to quickly and easily prepare your requirements specification, RFI and RFP. Make sure the business and user needs (requirements) are crystal-clear in the proposal. Understand what the other key project drivers are eg cost containment, time scale, project quality. Once known, make sure you give this adequate emphasis within the proposal. Next, consider the proposal recipients ie the executive management / board, what they are looking for, the information they require and what is important to them and the organisation. Then provide the information they require eg if they want details give them, if not don’t. If you are unsure what they want – find out, before preparing the proposal. Picture them going through your proposal with a checklist – does your proposal tick all their boxes? Plan the proposal before you write it and then stick to the plan. For each proposal plan item consider the executive’s requirements, their evaluation criteria, emphasis. Purpose of proposal eg to persuade the executive management / board to: replace the system in principle approve and fund the proposed course of action Put the most important information up front. Say what the project will do for them ie the benefits. Use positive statements. State clearly what actions you want them to do eg review the it project proposal, approve the project, approve funding. Consider using story boards or annotated outlines to build a draft proposal first and then fill in the detail for each story board or heading. Try to get it right the first time, as continued editing / fine tuning can take up a disproportionate amount of time. Consider preparing the proposal using a single author or a team. It is a lot of work for one person, who needs to have all the required skills. Using multiple authors spreads the workload, but requires careful control, communication, collaboration and proposal editing.

1. PROPOSAL CHECKLIST - OUTLINE IT

PROJECT PROPOSAL - FOR SYSTEM

SELECTION / SYSTEM REPLACEMENT IN

PRINCIPLE

Summary Proposed project name Purpose of proposal Executive summary Objectives Project goals and objectives Expected outcomes, deliverables and beneficiaries Project description Definition of the problem and project background Proposed solution Strengths, weaknesses, reliability, scalability, security of the proposed solution Project scope / parameters Business area(s) affected eg where the work will be done, where the benefits will arise Key project components eg software, hardware, database, network, business process re-engineering (BPR) requirements Conformity to organisational technology strategies and standards Technical impact of project and compatibility with existing infrastructure Summarised business and user needs Sponsor and stakeholder acceptance of the proposal Benefits Expected benefits from the project including tangible benefits, cost savings or income, as well as intangible (soft) benefits How the project enhances / replaces the existing system, the benefits of a new technology system Costs Expected costs for the project Analysed by system selection phase, implementation phase, ongoing costs, total budget required, budgetary limits Business case Business case justifying the project, based on the expected costs and benefits ROI, NPV, IRR, Payback calculations Methodologies System selection methodology Overview of how the proposal will be undertaken Proposed project implementation methodology / technical approach Project constraints eg system architecture, critical dates Project plan Outline project plans – for both system selection and system implementation Plans to show key activities, dates, and deliverables Milestones and measurements / metrics of the outcomes Time scales Start and end dates Key stages Interim milestone dates Project management How the project will be managed How work will be organised / supervised Communications Resources Resources for system selection in some detail (but only an overview for the implementation) Project team, roles, and responsibilities Resource plan, allocation Resource details, qualifications, experience, skills Training requirements Risks Risk analysis and management / mitigation Assessments Assessment of existing system(s) Assessment of alternative proposals, evaluations and why they have been rejected Implications of doing nothing, why this is not an acceptable option Assumptions All assumptions used in the IT project proposal

2. PROPOSAL CHECKLIST - DETAILED IT

PROJECT PROPOSAL - TO IMPLEMENT A

REPLACEMENT SYSTEM

Essentially a revision and update of the outline it project proposal (above), with more information added. Summary and objectives Revise as appropriate Project description Revise based on knowledge of chosen software / hardware, detailed user requirements and data, software selection process workings, statement of work Benefits Revise based on latest workings, analysis of proposed solution Costs Revise and firm up – base on quoted vendor prices eg for software, hardware, maintenance, latest revised estimates for consultancy, training, resources Business case Revise based on latest costs and benefits Methodology Methodology for system implementation may need revising based on later knowledge and / or the software vendor practices Project plan Prepare detailed system implementation plans, even if only include a summary within the proposal Updated plans to include key activities, tasks, resourcing, gantt charts, dependencies, work schedules Implementation schedule Schedule of major milestones, dates with associated deliverables Stakeholder acceptance of the implementation plan Time scales and project management Revise based on latest information Resources Revise based on implementation requirements, need for external consultancy, internal staff skills and availability Risks Update risk analysis and management Assumptions Revise accordingly Additional details: Ongoing support requirements Quality assurance Vendor contract and service level agreement For more IT project proposal information visit: Reasons for changing software / Project scope checklist / IT project proposal / Proposal format / Basic ROI calculation / ROI calculator and tips for maximising systems project ROI / Hidden costs of acquiring software / Project budget template and tips for improving IT software budgets / Proposal evaluation sheet
IT Project Proposal Preparation tips and proposal checklists for IT project proposals
© 2020 Axia Consulting Ltd
All rights reserved. Contact Us

Axia Consulting