A finished Content Plan looks like a proposal
- But it is just a shell, with headings from your outline.
- It has bullets instead of paragraphs of text, and empty tables and placeholders for graphics.
- Each page of the Content Plan represents a page of the proposal.
- When writing starts, each instruction and placeholder gets replaced with the real response.
The success of your Content Plan depends on what you put into it. It starts empty, but through a series of iterations, you “fill it up” with everything you need. With each iteration, it gains more instructions. It becomes the specifications for the proposal, so that if you replace the instructions with the response you'll have the proposal you want.
The more things that you identify as being critical to winning or that should go into the proposal, the better the results will be. The better the instructions, the better the writers will be able to follow them and the better the reviewers will be able to confirm that they were followed.
A Content Plan helps people visualize what the proposal will be. This helps writers know how much to write and reviewers to see the proposal from the customer’s perspective — even though the document hasn’t actually been written yet.