This is your most important project because it is what you have been working on all semester long. As such, I expect it to be a well-researched document that presents you as a credible person with lots of information to present to your audience.
of the most important things to remember when creating a document of this length
for business communication is clarity. Is the document accessible to the audience?
One way to make the volumes of information you have collected able to be
digested by said busy CEO is to use format to your advantage.
Start each new section on a new page (and number those pages).
Make sure that you have clear descriptive headings and that they are
easily distinguishable as headings. Use
white space to highlight your info, space between smaller sections (such as
between criteria). Use bold,
italics, or font size changes to emphasize the important information in each
of Transmittal: Though
feasibility reports are not known for their personal touches, this is the only
place for it. This letter is to
your audience (not me, the person within the organization that can effect
change). It navigates the channel
between you and your audience. It
should cover the scope of the report, though not in excruciating detail.
That means: problem, research completed, list of possible solutions, list
of criteria, but not the recommendation (to get that, they must
read the report). It can also thank
the sources involved and ends with the customary closing info.
Since this is a rather personal document, it should remain detached from
the rest of the feasibility report so that it can be taken out should the report
be passed on to other people. This
is the only place in the feasibility report where you can use personal pronouns.
someone reads only one thing in your report, it will be the execsum.
Because of this, it should cover everything in your report in an easy to
read, hard to misconstrue way. It
is the book report of your report and, for the purposes of this class, it should
be no longer than one page. On that
page, you must go over all the information that you present in the report.
Rule of thumb for fitting all this onto one page is: background info=2-3
sentences, research methods = 1-2 sentences, possible solutions= bulleted list,
criteria= emphasized with numbers inside a sentence or bold/italics.
Recommendation is given in this
Cover Page: For the purposes of this class, this page encompasses both the title and the cover pages which you would find on longer reports. The information that should be included is the project's title (bear in mind that you should not offend your audience, thus title wording must be taken seriously), the organization/business name (you may also want to single out the person to whom you are submitting the report), your name, the date submitted, and any contributing authors' names.
Table of Contents: Construct this in an easy to read, logical fashion. You can just use the headings from the report proper as your titles.
introduction goes into more depth about the background of your problem.
This is very similar to the problem statement of your proposal.
However, your audience will know all the information that you presented
in the “Ideal” section, so mainly focus on the “Real” and
“Consequences” sections. Since
you can’t start with a phrase like “However….” you will have to provide
some sort of transition into your information.
Remember, since you have honed in on who your audience is for this
report, it may have changed how you
want to present your information, so watch your tone….do not offend your
reader by how you word the problem.
best way to build your own credibility as an objective, well-researched employee
(or consultant) is to show your audience that you checked out all the angles.
The way to do that is to present your research upfront.
In format, this is similar to the Progress Report section about research.
However, you want the busy exec to be able to look at the page and see at
a glance who you talked to, what books you read, what websites you checked
out, etc. Each name of a
person/book/ source should be followed by a brief summation of why this source
was important. What made this
source worth your time to check out and worth the audience’s time to read?
Most readers will be happy with the bare bones synopsis, but some might
want to check out more so, if there is an interview/survey/webpage etc.
that has a lot of useful info, quote the most important and simply
appendix the rest and reference it for the interested reader who wants to know
section is merely an explanation of the solutions, what they entail, and certain
basic facts about them. Explanations
should involve all the information that your audience would want to know, but
should not include any bias or opinion. This
section should also exclude all types of weighing against criteria.
criteria section is the heart of your report.
It tells your audience how you are determining which solution is the
best. These should be ranked in
order of importance to your audience and have a scale underneath each one.
For example, cost effectiveness should have a paragraph explaining what
cost effectiveness is (yes, we all know it means cheap, but how cheap is cheap
to your company??) and how that relates to your business.
After you explain this, create a chart that shows a range of possible
scores that each possible solution may get.
We are not playing golf here, so the best solution should be the highest
score. With criteria such as cost
and time, numerical lines may be drawn, but other, more subjective categories,
such as customer or employee satisfaction, may have ranges from very
dissatisfied to very satisfied and everything in between.
of Possible Solutions: In
your report, you have already covered possible solutions and how to weigh them,
now just put these things together and you have your evaluation section.
Take the first solution and weigh it against the first criteria, give the
score, explain why it got this score, and repeat with criteria two, and so on.
Refer to the criteria handout for clarification.
Either before or after this section, provide your audience with a lovely
visual aid to clarify everything discussed in this section.
A simple chart that tells what each solution got for each criteria and a
total will do the trick.
is the whole reason that you are doing the report and might be read by several
individuals, so make it very professional and well done.
Not only should this section give the solution that got the highest
rating with the criteria, it should also explain anything that you failed to
mention in the possible solution section for fear of showing bias by style or
space. After the recommendation is
fully explained, help your audience out by giving the next step.
Do you recommend that the company should invest in a time saving software
package to solve their inventory problems?
Then tell them where they can obtain this software, who to call, what to
do next, what committee to refer this to, etc.
anything that is too lengthy or too bulky for the text proper.
This includes interview minutes, survey results (and graphs that come out
of them, if it is too big for the text), helpful pages from books or websites
(within reason), pictures, and anything else that may inform your audience.
Some may be curious about more details, provide them but do
not pad. Busy business people, like teachers, can smell padding from
miles away. Clearly label and
descriptively title all appendices: Appendix A: Results from Survey distributed
to employees of corporation X.
the format that is prevalent in your field.
If you are not sure what that is, or are in the business field, use
Chicago style. Go to the library website, references, style manuals, chicago
style, works cited pages to double check your format.
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