The management consulting services proposal takes on many different names, including request for proposal, project scope statement, and project contract.
While a proposal may take many different names and forms, there are some items that must ALWAYS be included in the proposal. These items include:
1. Clearly defined roles for the consultant, management, and the staff. Before beginning, it is essential to determine who will be doing what, and why. This also helps give your consultant credibility with the staff.
2. A project scope statement, which defines what work will be done, and why it is being done. The scope should address root causes to the issues your organization faces to create long-term, sustained change.
3. Financial and time resources. The consultant and client should work together to decide upon a realistic time schedule that both parties can agree to, and a project budget. The budget should also describe benefits (such as per diem, travel, etc.) and guidelines if the project goes over-budget.
4. Project goals and objectives to make clear to all parties what will be accomplished, how, and why. Goals and objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and targeted (or SMART, if you prefer).
5. Grounds for the relationship between consultant and client. The client will get the most out of their consultant if they genuinely connect, and share one anotherís best interests. Both parties should spell out what they expect from one another, and follow it to ensure a strong business relationship.
A strong proposal can very easily transform into a contract once both parties can agree on the details. A good rule of thumb is to follow the Project Management Instituteís structure for a project management plan. If the proposal is strong and both parties agree, they can move on to the management consulting services engagement letter.