Why Does It Take so Long?

Why does proposal writing take so long? Many underestimate the amount of time that must be devoted to such a project. The reality is that it often takes three times longer than you might have expected. Even the best writers have to force themselves to write because it is a draining and exacting process. If you have underestimated the commitment needed to write a proposal, don't feel too bad. The most experienced proposal managers often underestimate writing times. Look back at your proposal efforts and try to recall the ones that were finished on or ahead of schedule. We are guessing that very few were finished by their projected completion date.

The solution to the problem described above is to develop an incredibly detailed and tight outline. When creating the outline, schedule the proposal's completion for two to four days ahead of the due date. It is also critical that corporate management support the proposal manager's efforts to keep the proposal writers to the schedule. In spite of your best efforts, it may not be possible to keep up with your projected schedule because of the government's unreasonable proposal due dates. It certainly doesn't help matters if your company is preparing more than one proposal at the same time or management fails to support the proposal manager's efforts to stick with the schedule. For all of the reasons outlined above, a detailed and concise outline is an absolute must and everyone on the project must be fully committed to adhering to the timeframes contained in that outline.

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