Sam Ashe-Edmunds reports:
"Even though an exploratory project doesn’t commit funds to specific actions, it may require a small business to commit personnel and time to the initiative. To determine whether or not you want to begin the research involved with an exploratory project, it’s a good idea to write a proposal outlining the broad strokes of the project. You can break down the process of writing an exploratory project proposal by organizing the document contents first, then using a step-by-step method to finish it...Write a list of the possible benefits of the project. Don’t conduct research to determine the exact benefits of the project, since this document is intended to propose further research to determine this, or the actual project. Benefits may include increased sales, revenues or market share, or decreased costs, production times or quality control problems. Write the methodologies you will use to conduct the project if it’s formally approved for development. Include research sources and staff...Create a cover page for your proposal that includes the project name, company name, author and contact information. Create a contents page that divides the proposal into different sections, such as reasons for conducting the project, staff, costs and timetable. Include an appendix that includes any support documents, charts, graphs, [budget or] other information not appropriate for the main body of the proposal in an appendix...Write an executive summary, which gives the benefits and methodologies of the report. Do not include details or support for any claims or suppositions — save that for the main body of the proposal. Tell the reader what the report includes and the final recommendation...Write the proposal following your contents page. Use headings and sub-headings to break the information into manageable sections readers can easily follow. Begin by describing the reason for pursuing the exploratory project, which is often the benefits. Follow the SWOT method, discussing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved with pursuing or not pursuing the exploratory project. You most likely will need to provide these as perceived, potential or possible factors because you are only proposing to research these in further detail with the project. Provide costs, timetables, staff needed and other logistics of conducting the exploratory project. Limit these to how they pertain to the project, not the solution...Finish the main body of the proposal with a summary of the contents. The executive summary, body and final summary should tell readers what they are about to read, [then] give them the information, then tell them what they just read."
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