How To Write a Brilliant Management Report
Managers commission Reports into all sorts of topics and issues depending upon the organisation, the prevailing market conditions, operational problems, changing customer demands and any other pressing concern at the time.
There are two certainties in all of this:
- Reports cost money, time, effort, blood sweat and tears, angst and plenty of application.
- What management Reports are commissioned to just sit on a shelf and gather dust, their recommendations either ignored or put away for future use? Very few I would suggest. If this is the case why spend all of that money in the first place?
While many managers may wish to avoid having this duty imposed upon them, for some this is the perfect opportunity to raise their profile, become noticed and see the Report as an opportunity, not a curse.
The trick then is to make YOUR report something that hits the radar of as many influential, movers and shakers in the organisation (and the wider audience too!) and which is then used and retained for ongoing reference.
Regardless of the topic of the Report the basic, but critically important, ingredients are these below:
- Knowledge – make sure that you have done your homework fully so that you fully appreciate what the landscape looks like. What might different readers want from your document?
- Comprehension – Explain that you understand the issue, why the subject is important and why action is needed.
- Application – Demonstrate what your Report will bring and what the outcomes of any recommendation should be. How should your recommendations be carried out?
- Analysis – How does your data and research compare to the position here and now? Explain how you have arrived at your point(s) of view; link this to the reality we see now.
- Synthesis – Propose how your conclusions/recommendations would make the position in the future different to the status quo. Cast the net further into the (likely) future – what advantages does your approach bring, medium-term?
- Evaluation – Judge the likelihood of success for your approach – bear in mind only the very naive would argue against their own research and analysis! Be bold, sell your Vision because, after all, you were asked to provide one!
Make your Report so good that people still refer to it years after you completed it.
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