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How to Write a Software Proposal

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Software, when coupled with technological hardware like mobile devices, laptops and desktop computers can have solve simple logistical problems, store family albums, act as a music library and serve as a multimedia entertainment center, among a plethora of other possible uses. If you have an idea for a software product that will solve a problem or address a need in a part of your life, consider writing a software proposal to jump-start its creation.

Write an overview of the proposal's details. What problems will the software solve? Why is its creation justified? How, and to what degree, do you think it will benefit the company? Use this overview as the beginning of your proposal and title it executive summary.

Write a section titled team, outlining the individual team members (or firms, if you are outsourcing) background information, professional qualifications, and relevant experience that makes them a potential team member. Focus on individual achievements and professional background if you already have a team. If you are outsourcing, focus on the firm's successful track record and cite successful examples of similar solutions they've built.

Compose a section titled justifications, and explain the reasons why this software proposal is justified. Focus on needs of employees, ways to improve workflow, reducing operating costs, and the unmet needs of your target audience. The most compelling proposals are able to tie predicted financial benefits and changes, should the proposal be approved. Include a problem statement that explains the problem the software will solve in one succinct sentence.

Software requirements will be your next section. Depending on the complexity of the software project, the requirements section maybe broken down into sub-sections. At the very least, the requirements section explains what the software has to do in laymen's terms in order to meet the customer need and solve the problem. It is always helpful to include wireframe drawings or full mock-ups of user interfaces that you wish to use, as it will give developers a better idea of what sort of workload they'll be facing when they review the proposal.

Compose a section titled costs, and include the financial information about the software proposal. Its important to outline the cost of producing the software, the cost of maintaining it on an ongoing basis and any potential training costs. You can also perform a cost-benefit analysis in this section, showing the financial benefit that adopting the proposed software solution will have on the organization.

Conclude the proposal with section that draws in the key points from other sections of the proposal and ties them to the reasons certain decisions were made while creating the proposed solution.

About the Author

Peter Grant has been a professional writer since 1998 and software engineer since 1995. He has contributed to academic papers, open-source software projects and technical documentation across several industries. Grant holds a master's degree in public policy from National University.

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