Who Should Write the Proposal?


Are you the type of training leader that clearly defines a performance issue before they go shopping for a solution?  Are you the type of training leader that collects information from training providers and then writes the training proposal themselves?  Or are you the type of training leader that leads from behind, and defaults to the training vendor to position their solution by letting them write the proposal that you forward on to management for approval?

As more training leaders seem unable to write a simple training solutions proposal for their management to approve, more and more training providers are stepping into writing the proposal themselves so they don’t lose the sale.  The proposal is written to define the situation with a slant to fit their perfect solution.  However, most of the time the training provider is not privy to all of the inside information and who might need to approve the solution so the proposal lands up with many holes in it.

While I read in the newspaper the other day that most high school students are graduating without the ability to write, it is no wonder we have so many adults in the workplace that delegate this task rather than attempt the proposal themselves.  Yet every time that a training solution is proposed outside of the training department, it will be missing the mark.

While I advocate in The Training Physical to learn this competency and write your own proposals, at the very least training leaders should not just forward the vendor proposal for approval without first rewriting it and filling in all of the missing information.  Should the vendor forward their proposal to you in a format you are unable to edit, either ask them for a different format, or do the hard work of retyping it.

Another lesson I learned a long time ago when teaching a business writing workshop was to know your readers.  List all of the people within your organization that will read the proposal and make sure their wants and needs are both included and obviously easy to locate in the document.  It is your job to make sure the training solution and learning methods will achieve results, and not just because the vendor said it will. 

So who should write the proposal?  The answer is always the training leader responsible for the results of the solution.  What do you think?

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