We know making the case for technical projects is difficult.

How do you justify them when you could ship features instead? This is where proposals come in — they help you make a clear & compelling case for technical projects.

<aside> ⚠️ Have you covered the basics?

This guide assumes that you're familiar the fundamental building blocks of Stepsize: debt reports and debt items.

If you aren't, we encourage you to check out our overview of debt reports and our overview of debt items before coming back to this guide.


When to create a Proposal

As an engineer, you're closest to the front lines. You have the best understanding of tech debt's impact on the business and are in the best position to suggest technical initiatives that the business would benefit from.

Depending on your product engineering culture and planning process, you might have more or less of a use case for creating proposals.

Here's when you should create a Proposal:

How to create a Proposal

A Proposal is a structured document that you can use as a template to pitch a technical initiative. It was designed drawing on our understanding of what works and what doesn't after interviewing hundreds of engineers.

Start with a Draft


  1. Describe your proposed initiative with the help of our sample questions


  1. Define the impact of your proposed initiative in ways that speak to non-technical stakeholders so they can prioritise it against feature work


  1. Back up your estimates of the impact of your proposed initiative with empirical evidence to make your claims more credible

⇒ This is where all the reporting work you and your teammates have doe


  1. Estimate the impact required to deliver your initiative since every prioritisation decision is made based not only on impact, but also effort required