When considering the the topic of proposals and their target audience I looked at a number of different sources. The first was to consider how I use proposals in my current role and second to look for examples from the academic arena.
My current role is to review proposals that either come from the business who want to launch a new product or from a project team who want to deliver a new service. Each proposal has predefined sections that cover the objectives, approach, benefits, risks, timeline and costs.
- The objectives are what is the project aiming to achieve and how will that fit into existing services and activities within the organisation.
- The approach focuses on how the activities will be executed to deliver the desired outcome.
- The benefits that the organisation gains by spending it money. This covers tangible and intangible benefits.
- Risks the things that could stop the initiative from being successful
- How long will the work take to complete and any major milestones or checkpoints along the way
- How much will project cost to execute and what are the on-going costs if any
What I realised during this activity is that reviewing and critiquing the work of others is significantly different compared to creating your own proposal especially if it is in a discipline where you are not clear the expectations of the audience for the proposal. Therefore my next area of research was to look for proposals that had been created for academic projects. Searching the internet identified a number of templates and examples of PHD proposals but none that matched closely enough to an MA Photographic Project Proposal. The documents did at least confirm that the general structure was similar to the formats used in my current organisation. However for me this did not answer the question what are the faculty at Falmouth expecting in the proposal.
To try and get closer to those requirements I worked with a number of my fellow students in a review session where we tried to dissect MIF for this phase and by discussing our draft proposals reach a common view on the requirements and then apply those data points to our respective projects. Overall that approach helped me refine my base proposal.