Preparing and Translating Proposals that Plan An Improvement

A planning proposal suggests ways to solve a problem or to bring about improvement. Many Washington D.C. Translation Services companies are familiar with writing and translating proposals that take the form of a request for funding to expand the manufacturing output, an architectural plan for new office building on a corporate campus, or a plan to improve leadership training and skills in a major corporation. In every case, the successful planning proposal answers this central question for readers: What are the benefits of following your suggestions? The following planning proposal is external and solicited.

Disappointed with the results of earlier, in-house software development initiatives, a division of Exxon Mobil has contracted a team of software developers to design results-oriented workforce management application. The authors of the proposal worked with a Houston Translation Services company to to persuade decision makers in 3 countries that their plans for software development are likely to be completed faster, more efficiently and produce better results than prior approaches, which were not give enough priority. In their proposal, addressed to the director of the division, the consultants offer concrete and specific solutions to clearly identified problems.

After a brief introduction summarizing the problem, the proposal writers develop their proposal under two major headings (“Assessment of Needs” and “Proposed Plan”) to give the audience a clear forecast of the contents. Under “Proposed Plan,” subheadings offer an even more specific forecast.

The “Limitations” section shows that our plan is careful to promise no more than what will realistically be delivered. At Exxon Mobil, upper management resistance seems to underlie most other problems. Because this ultimate problem apparently has gone unrecognized, the final head, “Related Problems,” is inserted for emphasis.

Because this proposal is external, it can be cast as a certified translation of a letter. Notice, however, that the complimentary closing (“Best wishes”), and word choice (“thanks;” “what we’re doing on our end;” “Michael and Howard,” etc.) create an informal, familiar tone. Such a tone is appropriate in this particular external document because the writers and reader have spent many hours in planning conferences, luncheons, and phone conversations.

Like any document that gains reader acceptance, this one should be the result of careful decisions about content, organization, and style.