Proposing a Solution (Takeaways 4)

Proposing a Solution (Takeaways 4)

Project Proposals

Executive Summary

  • This is the abstract of your business document
  • High level overview of everything in the project so someone can get a feel before choosing to read on or not


  • Lead in to the rest of the document
  • More specifically talks about the project but still high level
  • Why is this a thing?

The Problem

  • What is the problem or opportunity that is presented to you?
  • Problem > Pain > Solution
  • If you have a social problem try to think of solving it in a smaller context

The Ask (What do I want?)

  • Who are you presenting this proposal to?
    • Try to tailor the proposal so that it fits the audience who will give you approval, money, or a leadership position


  • Title or Name (you don’t have to think of the perfect title starting out)
    • A good title might become more clear as you continue with the proposal and/or prototype
  • Try to describe the solution in 50 words or less, you’ll go into more detail in the following two sections


  • List out all of the features that the solution will have
    • Sub-features should be listed underneath the more general feature list (get into a lot of detail)
  • If the feature list is extremely long then put the full list in appendices and put a shorter list in the features section

Competitive Framework

  • Do some research and find out who is doing the same thing as you
  • Extend your feature list to compare to similar products
  • Describe other products that are similar to yours and why your solution is better
  • Create some charts and graphs comparing features to your competitors (pictures make everything better)


  • The wrong answer is “everyone“, this makes it too challenging to develop a solution
    • One size usually does not fit all
  • Things to think about:
    • Demographics – age, economical, status, race, gender
    • Psychographics – how the user things, their values (religion, lifestyle, etc.)
  • You need to know what the stereotypical user is this will make “The Reach” easier and you can generalize what people will appreciate
  • Think of separate markets, primary (who you target the solution to mainly), secondary, etc.
  • You need to know the size of the market so that the people you present to can decide whether it is a good investment

The Reach (Marketing)

  • How will people learn about the product?
  • How will you sell the product?
  • Think about what your user will use to learn about the new products
    • Should I target the elderly using social media? Probably not.

Maintenance (Operations)

  • Mostly for physical products like how things will get from one place to another
  • Data flowing, how if it is not a physical product will it stay up to date
    • App store updating
    • Have people manually update the information or data
    • Automate a system to keep everything up to date


  • Who do you need on the team to make this solution work?
    • Who will you need to hire?
    • Will there be volunteers?
      • Mention in “The Reach” section how you plan to attract volunteers to the solution
  • Most solutions will need at least a lawyer and an accountant at some point (contract one)


  • How and when will everything get done
    • Project completion
    • Need funding by date
    • Hiring dates
    • Media campaigns
    • Launch date


  • What is the amount of money that the solution, reach, maintenance, and players will cost
  • What is your projected revenue, do some research but you should know the market size already
  • How will the solution be priced?
    • Ads
    • One time buy
    • Subscription
    • Government contract
    • Not for profit


  • Any other information needed to sell the product/solution


  • Wrap up and summarize everything that was talked about in the previous sections
  • Call to action or try to sell the solution


  • Supporting documents, images, or charts that would have been too big for the main document