How to Propose a New Project

Engage and involve other staff members.
Engage and involve other staff members. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Coming up with an exciting new project is the first step in bringing it to completion. Involvement in an innovative project makes your work more interesting and challenging and benefits your company, but you need to do your research and convince your boss that your project is too good to refuse. Share your vision, but be prepared to compromise, as some of the most exciting innovations start with small steps.

Research your project. People quickly lose interest if an idea seems vague or half-baked. If you want to expand your company’s product line, for example, identity potential target markets, assess how it fulfills gaps in the market and back up your research with solid statistics.

Pitch the project. Different companies have different management styles, and the introduction of your project may depend on company etiquette. Some managers prefer an informal one-on-one approach during a project’s initial stages, while others require project ideas to be pitched at staff meetings. Outline the nature and purpose of your project and its potential benefits for the company.

Foster team spirit. Make your project manager feel involved in the project from the outset. Ask for her advice, respect her expertise and promise to keep her informed about developments. Enlist the help of coworkers whose skills and talents can help make the project successful. If, for example, you are proposing a new computer system that will save time and increase productivity, get key members of your company’s Internet technology department on board.

Explore alternatives. Being flexible and willing to compromise helps, as people don’t always get exactly what they want. If your project is experimental and potentially high-risk, suggest implementing a pilot scheme. Managers might feel more comfortable if an innovative new product or service is piloted at a small, target audience.

Write a proposal. Provide a realistic timeline for your project. Outline how it complements existing initiatives or services. Provide an overview of your research to date. Include estimated costs and potential profits, the number of people who would need to be involved to bring the project to completion, and list available resources.

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