Short reports are an effective tool of communicating with a general manager, who is usually a busy executive. They can be used to report on the progress of a project, weekly or monthly financial projections, or reports on production operations. Unlike comprehensive reports that require extensive research and details, short reports require only the basic but most important information. Writing a short report follows a similar style of report writing, except that the summary, background, content, conclusion or recommendations are concise.
- Skill level:
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Gather data that are pertinent to the project about which you are reporting. Do this by using available data, such as financial reports, feasibility reports and surveys that have already been undertaken. Use relevant reference material, such as books or information from informed third parties, such as industry experts as data for your report.
Type in the date, the name of the general manager to whom you are sending the report, your name, your signature and the subject of the report at the top left corner of the paper.
Summarise the contents of the report briefly by indicating the problem, the findings, the progress so far or a proposal to solve the problem. Indicate concisely what you anticipate will be the benefits of the project.
Describe the background by writing a short history of the ongoing project or business task about which you are reporting. Include the names of the people involved in the task or project, such as project team members, trainers or department leaders. Provide further explanation of what the task or project is about.
Write the body or content of the report by including the findings and data gathered in Step 1. Provide a brief analysis of the findings and state what they mean to the overall project and the business. Incorporate charts, questionnaires, surveys and references into the report to support your analysis.
Draw a conclusion by briefly stating the status of a project or task. Provide recommendations only if the general manager has asked for this. Give about two brief and most important recommendations that summarise all other recommendations that you would otherwise list in a longer report.
Tips and warnings
- Although a short one, the report should not leave the reader with unanswered questions. Provide all the necessary information in clear, precise language.
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