How to Write an Internal Proposal

Company problems, like leaky faucets, are annoying and costly.
Company problems, like leaky faucets, are annoying and costly. (Image: faucet image by Mat Hayward from

Working for a company can be as frustrating as it is rewarding. Sometimes, problems exist and nobody seems to take notice. Though addressing the problem directly may be outside of your realm of responsibilities, as a conscientious employee, you could compose and submit an internal proposal for addressing the problem. Writing an internal proposal requires you to focus your attention on how your proposed solution will save money for the company.

Identify a problem that is either costing your company money or impeding your company’s productivity.

Clarify the problem and exactly why it is hurting the company. For example, your company may overspend on photocopying memos that can just as easily be distributed electronically. In this case, you would need to calculate the cost of printing, copying and distributing these memos, versus the cost of simply emailing the memos to a list of company employees.

Limit the scope of the problem. If the problem is only specific to a particular section of the company such as maintenance, payroll or human resources, make this known. Limiting the scope of the problem will demonstrate to any potential proposal reviewers that you’ve done your homework in terms of preparing to tackle this problem.

Specify the time and frequency of the problem. For example, the aforementioned photocopying gaffe only occurs when memos are distributed, but memos could be distributed two to three times a day, once a week or twice a month. Specifying the time and frequency allows you to accurately predict both the cost of the problem and the savings associated with fixing the problem.

Provide history, if possible, as to why the problem exists. For example, photocopying memos for distribution could have been a bureaucratic holdover from a previous supervisor that was simply mimicked and carried on.

Detail the amount of money the company will save by addressing the problem in the short and long term, ranging from monthly to quarterly to yearly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not implicate a subordinate, colleague or supervisor in providing the history of the problem.

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  • "Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach"; Paul V. Anderson; 2010
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