Grant Proposal Development as Project Management

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Using established project management strategies can streamline your process


Preparing a brief, simple grant proposal for an established program is usually a one-person job. It’s always best for colleagues to give the proposal a final once-over, for the financial manager to check the budget, and for the top administrator to examine the package and give it the final nod. Others should always check a proposal before it flies out the door, but for the most part one experienced grants professional can handle the project. But that scenario changes dramatically when you’re tackling a large proposal that involves program development, community engagement, lining up partnerships, and hammering out a complicated budget.
Developing a large grant proposal is a specific type of project management. There’s a limited time frame to complete the work, various moving parts, the need for dedicated resources, and the imperative to coordinate activities to achieve the final goal: a competitive grant proposal. When you think of proposal development in terms of project management, you can see that teamwork is important. We’re used to thinking of project management in terms of IT projects, engineering, or construction, but established project management approaches are also applicable to developing grant proposals and can be useful in producing the best possible product.
To be most successful in completing large, proposal development projects, Floersch suggests grant professionals explore the world of project management. “Take a look at some of the popular approaches such as Waterfall, Lean, and Agile,” said Floersch. “There are lots of approaches to check out. Even if every element of a popular approach won’t work for you, you’re likely to find crucial ideas and strategies to make your proposal development more efficient and successful.”
When you’re educated on successful project management approaches, you can increase your efficiency without recreating a wheel.

— Barbara Floersch, Chief of Training & Curriculum


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