When selecting whether to move in a strategic direction or which stages to follow with a project, most organizations compile a large number of documents, studies, and assessments. Most organizations will summarize their results in an executive report because it would be impractical to expect all relevant parties to read every single document. An executive report provides a concise summary of original materials without requiring the reader to read them.
10+ Executive Report Samples
Reports, assessments, project documentation, case studies, financial models, and other information abound on the desks of most organizations. You’ll never get a lender, investor, or busy executive to read all of this information, no matter how beneficial it is. Even if they did, the sheer volume of information may cause them to overlook key issues. An executive report can help with this. This brief paper gets right to the point and summarizes all of the major points from the larger document suite. The goal is to compress and synthesize the important elements from all of the other documents so that readers can immediately understand what you’re doing and where your project stands.
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Executive Report Format
The specific format will be determined by the project’s nature and what you’re aiming to summarize. An executive summary of your business plan, for example, will differ significantly from an executive description of your customer process or workflow. If your company has a house style or an executive report template, you should use it to ensure that your business communications are consistent. Otherwise, when drafting your report, keep the following factors in mind.
- The report should be as brief as possible while still including all of the important elements.
- As a general rule, the report should be no more than 10% the length of the document(s) you’re summarizing.
- The tone of the report should be appropriate for the target audience.
- It should start with a brief overview of the project.
- It should respond to a question or queries in a systematic manner, backed up with evidence and data points.
- It may entail making recommendations, but it will almost certainly entail synthesizing and interpreting data.
- A precise conclusion should be included in the report.
- It should be able to stand alone from the main document (s).
- Short, clear paragraphs or bullet points should be used.
- It should only contain information found in the project’s major documents. This is not the place to present fresh content or have your own frolic.
The report should be organized in a logical manner, with an introduction, main body, recommendations, and conclusion.
The aim and scope of the report are stated in the opening – why are you producing this document? What are your objectives? A problem or a need is nearly always the motivation for creating an executive report, and you must identify it. This sets the tone for the remainder of the report.
The report’s main body should be well-organized, with each arrow referring logically to the next. Describe your approach to resolving the issue. Refer to core materials where the reader can discover the source information in an executive report, which should be well-referenced and well-researched. Include charts, graphs, and other visuals to back up your main points.
Your future steps should be clearly defined in the recommendations section. Make sure the information you’re presenting makes sense and leads to this area. Are the previous portions of the report clearly supporting your recommendations for possible action? Do they support the recommendations in the project’s major documents?
The conclusion should be explicit, leaving no doubt as to what the reader should do next. This is not the place to introduce new stuff. There’s no need to repeat yourself, but you must ensure that the reader is on the same page as you.
When to use an executive report?
When you need someone to quickly become acquainted with a huge body of knowledge, consider producing an executive report. For instance, you may write an executive report to:
- For lenders, summarize the company’s business plan.
- For decision-makers, compile the findings of several research investigations.
- Begin a dialogue with potential investors.
- Maintain open lines of communication with both management and customers.
What is an executive summary?
You’ll need an executive summary to preface your report, whether you’ve written a business strategy or an investment proposal. The summary should highlight the most relevant aspects of your report, but avoid boring the reader with minor details. Save the analysis, charts, data, and glowing testimonials for the actual report. This is the time to grab the attention of your reader and explain what you do and why they should read the rest of your business plan or proposal.
If you want to see more samples and formats, check out some executive report samples and templates provided in the article for your reference.
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