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Management Report Delivery Methods

 

"What is best method for delivering reports to ensure highest level of use by operations personnel?"

This question was asked at a recent webinar, now available on-demand:

"World Class Management Reporting"

Please add your thoughts about it below. Thanks!

Answers

Randall Bolten
Title: CEO
Company: Lucidity
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO, Lucidity) |

Good question; I’d encourage you to view this in the same way you’d view getting people to focus on ANY sort of document that you want them to read. The key characteristics of a reporting package that people will actually read include:

1. EASY TO READ. Pay special attention to how well the information is laid out on the page; avoid jargon, acronyms and other terminology that might be confusing or incomprehensible, and the reader’s natural flow across and down the page. (I devote a great deal of space to these concerns in my book, Painting with Numbers.)

2. SHORT. Don’t make the exercise of reading the package intimidating. Put an executive summary at the front, and if the whole package is more than just a few pages, a table of contents before the executive summary. If a lot of backup detail is included in the package, make sure the reader has a clear sense of the dividing point between the important stuff and the backup detail.

3. CONSISTENT. The package looks the same from one reporting period to the next, and you have a common approach to how your different reports all look. You want your audience to be familiar and comfortable with your information.

4. MEANING & CONTEXT. Use a reasonable number of ratios and other metrics to help your audience better understand what the raw numbers are telling them.

5. SIMPLE AND ACCESSIBLE DISTRIBUTION. Make it easy for your audience to find and print (or read) your reports. It may be trendy and less effort to let everyone know that the reports are ready and they can pull them off the server whenever they wish, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do it.

6. YOUR OWN AVAILABILITY AND WILLINGNESS TO HELP. Work to make it clear that you’re available to answer questions about the reports. Schedule meetings to explain how to read the reports, and what’s new since the last time you held such a meeting. Whether your audience takes you up on these offers or not, you’ve sent a message that you’re available.

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