How to write great case studies for your proposals and tenders

Why use case studies in proposals?

Case studies are an important aspect of tender writing or proposal writing. Psychologists have a maxim about people—that a good indication of future behaviour is past behaviour—and this is true of organisations as well.

Case studies tell important stories about the previous successes of your organisation. A good case study will show that previous project success is likely to be repeated.

Including case studies in proposals give you the opportunity to present your organisation’s work in a way that you choose, outside the sometimes narrow requirements of the tender. You can emphasise your key messages and how you are different to your competitors.

Emphasise outcomes and solutions

Choose your case studies to not only demonstrate your best delivery outcomes but also showcase your problem-solving skills. Large projects seldom are delivered without obstacles and unforeseen events. Explain how you dealt with them. This shows that you are a reliable deliverer and can reduce risk for your client. Try not to focus on the outputs and the activities.

What content should you include in a case study?

Here are some important questions you should answer to be able to create your case study content.

  • What was the client’s business requirement?
  • What was the problem to be solved or the objective to be met?
  • What were the client’s initial objectives?
  • What was unique or unusual about the project or contract?
  • What was your organisation’s approach to the contract?
  • What were the circumstances, challenges, and opportunities presented by the project? This is important because the approach taken shows capability and innovation.
  • In what ways did you go above and beyond the call of duty?
  • How did you resource the project?
  • What challenges presented themselves during the project (for example, geographic, political, cultural, HR issues)?
  • What methodology did you use?
  • Was there anything innovative about your approach?
  • What where the major components of the work (the more scope of work)?
  • What were the measurable benefits of your delivery of the project (for example, greater efficiency, improved profits, key performance indicators met)?
  • What did you offer that your competitors could not?
  • How did you add value for the client? If you have any positive feedback from the client it can be a powerful testimonial to your success.
  • Can you quantify the outcome (for example, saved the client money or improved efficiency in the time taken to complete a particular activity)?
  • Were there any ways in which your service made a difference to the client’s industry/environment?

If you answer all these questions you will have a great case study. You might not have to include all the information if you can show tangible outcomes and unique solutions. It is also important to present your case studies with lots of good images.

Contact us if you need help with your cases studies.