proposals - what to say, how to say it, and how much to charge

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  1. 1. Proposals What to Say, How to Say It, and How Much to Charge Constance Bill + cmbille@aol.comSociety for Technical Communication - Philadelphia Metro Chapter 1
  2. 2. Outline Proposal Structure Cost Estimation Pricing Related Documents Request for Proposal Letter of Agreement Statement of Work Master Services Agreement2
  3. 3. You Get a Request They are a bit vague They ask for solutions They want deliverables They want results$ They have a number in mind3
  4. 4. Scary Stuff Estimation of the cost of a proposed project. The manager has to budget and spend wisely to get what the organization needs The vendor has to make a living while delivering agreedupon work (perhaps using a new tool or technique) at an agreed-upon price
  5. 5. Concerns on Both Sides CLIENTS What concerns does the client have?VENDORS What concerns does the vendor have?5
  6. 6. Client: Worry, worry, worry Am I asking for the right thing? Is this the right vendor?What will it look like? How much does it cost? Do I have / will I get / the budget? Will I get a good product? Will I get it when I need it?How can I protect myself? 6
  7. 7. Vendor: Worry, worry, worry Do I know all the options? Ive never done it like that before. Will it work? How long will it take? How much will it cost? How much should I charge?How can I control costs? Who should be on the team? Have I accounted for everything? Will they change their mind mid-way through? How can I protect myself? 7
  8. 8. You Respond You are selling! Focus on the prospect Show that you understand them! Talk to them first and LISTEN The answer to Can you? is Yes! But remember my mantra . . .8
  9. 9. Dont give them what they ask for, give them what they need.9
  10. 10. You Can Do It! Propose!10
  11. 11. Proposal Structure 1. Statement of Understanding CURRENT STATUS[Company], an iconic American brand, has been undergoing significant organizational change of late. In the last few years, the company has experienced turnover and dispersion within its workforce, with 8,000 employees now spread across the globe. In addition, the demographic profile of that workforce has changed. PROBLEMThe transition to a younger, global workforce has been accompanied by the departure of senior leaders who exemplified the [Companys] internal brand; creating a general concern that the organization's internal culture as distinct from its external brand identity has lost its clarity. Human Resources recognizes the need for an internal program to promote the [Companys] unique cultural identity. WE CAN HELPFrom years of working with global customer service organizations, [our company] experience indicates that this . . . [your analysis and solution]. 11
  12. 12. Proposal Structure 2. Project Outline 2. Suggested Project Outline Phase I: Discovery The project begins with XXX getting a full understanding of . . .. . Process Suggested activities include: Review existing collateral Select existing data for measurement of impact, Conduct interviews Produce a report . Deliverables Discovery findings reportPhase II: Task Force Meeting A task force consisting of representatives from Operations, Marketing, HR, 12
  13. 13. Proposal Structure 3. Development Process 3. Development Process Suggested Development Process A weekly conference call to . . . Outline an overall design . . . Receive any templates or graphics to be used or adapted Each week develop a first draft of one unit Upon draft approval develop media storyboard. . .13
  14. 14. Proposal Structure 4. Deliverables 4. Deliverables Eight modules of materials including Facilitator Guide in Word format Presentation in PowerPoint format Participant Guide in PowerPoint format Four Web-based self-instructional modules . . .14
  15. 15. Proposal Structure 5. Timeline 5. Timeline Here is a suggested timeline to reach your target date of xxxx, in which case activities must commence by XXX. Activity Unit1First DraftCompleted Week 3Unit 2 First DraftWeek 4Unit 3 First DraftWeek 5Unit 4 First DraftWeek 6PilotWeek1015
  16. 16. Proposal Structure 6. Roles & Responsibilities (Optional) 6. Roles & Responsibilities Modules One Two Three Four FINAL12345678DRAFTREVIEWREVISEAPPROVEDRAFTREVIEWREVISEAPPROVEDRAFTREVIEWREVISEAPPROVEDRAFTREVIEWREVISE910APPROVE DELIVER16
  17. 17. Proposal Structure 7. Pricing 7. Pricing For delivery of eight modules as specified above, not including any on-site photography, travel or incidental expenses incurred in the production of the deliverables outlined above; fees do not include any printing, photography, or telecommunications expenses. $100,000 USD17
  18. 18. Proposal Structure 8. Payment Schedule 8. Payment Schedule The price is quoted in US Dollars according to the following scheduleUpon signing Letter of Agreement$25,000Upon approval of outline$25,000Upon approval of first draft$25,000Upon delivery$25,000TOTAL$100,00018
  19. 19. Proposal Structure 9. Appendix 9. Appendix Company Experience Project Team Biographies Work Samples / Project Descriptions Client Endorsements19
  20. 20. Cost Estimation20
  21. 21. Manage the MixWHO 21
  22. 22. What goes into estimating cost? Tasks Time Team Technology Experience and benchmarks. e.g., Storyboard or wireframe analysis (pages, frames, videos, graphics, audio, minutes, etc.)22
  23. 23. Assembling the Team Who do you ask? What do you know about them? Have you worked with them before? Are they available? Are they reliable? Employee? Contractor? Sub-contractor? Rates Employee Contractor Sub-contractor Hourly? Per diem? Per deliverable? 23
  24. 24. Pricing24
  25. 25. Cost Estimation Assemble project team with all needed skills Breakdown phases and tasks Add communication & coordination Assign hours to everything Know personnel rates Base on known units Go high on unknowns25
  26. 26. What goes into determining price? Cost estimation Business overhead and margin Competition Prospect Size, resources Expectations Authority level26
  27. 27. Start with the Known Start with known cost elements Do some homework on the unknown Cover your overhead and the X factor which gets bigger with . . . More Unknowns Longer timeline More people involved More regulation or bureaucracy27
  28. 28. Cost + Pricing Conceptualize the design Define deliverables How many screens, pages, illustrations Categorize components e.g. how many simple vs complex interactives Estimate effort and timeline for each step of process Describe process & project roles / staffing Define how many review/revision iterations28
  29. 29. Price Presentation Bundled price? Per deliverable? Retainer? Set time effort limit then hourly chargesNote exclusions travel, out-of-pocket, printing, etc29
  30. 30. Pricing Address These Issues in Pricing New technique or technology Time frame team size, skillPRICE Complexity Not too lowTALENTTECHNIQUE Not too high Value independent of effort30
  31. 31. Tasks, Hours, Rates Rate1 CLIENT$125ActivityWhoHrsChargeRate2 $150 TOTALSDISCOVERY Confer with team on projectLead20$3,000Confer with team on projectPerson B20$2,500Confer with team on projectPerson A20$3,000Review internal docsPerson A6$750Review data of impactPerson A6$750Intview(8 )svc /learng needs Person A10$1,250Rapid design meetingLead6$900Rapid design meetingPerson B6$750Rapid design meetingPerson A6$900Develop specificationsPerson B8$1,000TOTAL DISCOVERY PHASE$14,800 31
  32. 32. Project Plan32
  33. 33. Manage ExpectationsQUALITY 33
  34. 34. Task Precedence PERT chart
  35. 35. Task Time Line GANTT Chart Week1Week2Week 3Week 4Week5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11 Week 12Week 13Week 14Week 15 Week 16Week 17Week 18Week 19 Week 20JulyJulyJulyAugAugAugAugSeptSeptSeptSeptOctOctOctOctNovNovNovNovDesign DocumentREVIEWAPPROVTemplatesREVIEWAPPROVREVISEAPPROVDesignDecDiscoveryPart 1REVIEWREVISEREVIEWREVISEAPPROVPart 2REVIEWREVISEREVIEWREVISEAPPROVPart 3REVIEWREVISEREVIEWREVISEAPPROVPart 4REVIEWREVISEREVIEWREVISEAPPROVPart 5REVIEWREVISEREVIEWREVISEAPPROVBeta Class DeliveryBETAReview/Approv eREVIEWProduction/ Class Logistics DeliveryLAUNCHkeyVENDOR CLIENTSome tasks allow slide. . . . some do not 35
  36. 36. Other Documents36
  37. 37. Request for Proposal Know the rules for competition Follow the stated structure Meet deadline Interview or Q&A is Important Use third party endorsement / prizes Use Affirmative Advantages for government and nonprofit proposals37
  38. 38. Letter of Agreement A contract with mutual obligations Signed and dated by both parties38
  39. 39. Statement of Work (SOW) More detailed than proposal Roles & responsibilities Use non-disclosure agreement to protect proprietary information39
  40. 40. Master Services Agreement (MSA) For on-going contracts, such as annual renewal of a program Makes it much easier to write a Statement of Work The SOW refers to the MSA40
  41. 41. THANK YOU!41