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Initiating Phase – Project Proposal (#3 in the series Initiating Phase)
By Michele Berrie, Queensland University of Technology

The Project Proposal defines the conceived project as the basis for approving and reserving funding for a project. Care must be taken in preparing the document to present the project’s case accurately. Compelling reasons for carrying out the project in the form of specifying clear, quantifiable benefits and mechanisms for realising them beyond the end of the project are usually required.

The relevant business area usually prepares the project proposal. During the process, the outcomes of the project must be considered and planned for. This means that the Activity Completion Report (and Post Implementation Review for a major project) and its requirements should kept in mind at all times during the Planning Phase and throughout the life of the project.

It is vital to consult as many stakeholders as possible in the proposal process to ensure that all aspects of the project are considered and included in the proposal, then in the Project Plan.

The proposal should clearly state key project information as shown in the template, including objectives, scope, scope issues, project assumptions as well as benefits. Poor definition of the objectives and scope often lead to project failure; studies suggest a strong correlation between project success and clear scope definition.

The proposal should contain information on alternative options, if available, with a recommendation on which option to select.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a highly successful Australian university with an applied emphasis in courses and research. Based in the city of Brisbane with a global outlook, it has 40,000 students, including 6000 from overseas, (QUT Statistics) and an annual budget of more than AU$500 million. Courses are in high demand and its graduate employment rate is well above the national average for Australian universities

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