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A Project Executive Summary Gone Wrong Can Hurt Your Business

Employers, entrepreneurs, board members, most people in the top rungs of managing an organization have a premium on time. Consequently it becomes second nature of top management to go after the substance and ignore what they perceive as inconsequential in most situations.

To do this effectively, people in top management use their own calculations or intuitions, and sometimes biases can develop and creep into quick assessments of reports. These biases invariably develop from personal experiences, either good or bad, and also from shared experiences as well as from duties and job functions.

Different Managers Read Different Parts of a Project Report

When going through a business report, a compensation director may be more interested in searching for the labor requirements to support business processes, and would try to find information as to how to sustain the improvements achieved in the project.

On the other hand, the top manager of human resources, while viewing the same project report, may be more concerned about finding information pertinent to bringing new employees on board and on how to improve or execute training processes. It would not be wrong to assume that while assessing the same project report the manager of workforce analysis would gloss over most other parts and concentrate on accurate headcount reporting.

Since most busy executives do not have time to consider business or project reports in their entirety, it is extremely important for the project executive summary to be succinct and provide a quick high-level overview of the entire project. This is because almost all top level executives would go through the project executive summary in its entirety, and then decide on which part of the business report they need to scrutiny or understand in greater detail.

The Need for a Good Project Executive Summary

Unless the need to write an effective project executive summary is drilled into project managers, stakeholders would often miss out on employee achievements - and consequently fail to recognize them. This can often lead to a situation where great employees and teamwork can be ignored, just because whoever wrote the executive summary, failed to properly highlight things.

Recognizing, truly being able to mark accomplishment in improving a business process, isn't as easy as complimenting someone on a new suit. The project accomplishment may not immediately stand out to all stakeholders unless the executive summary informs the management about the work that has been done and about the targets achieved.

Though there are good formulas about writing executive summaries, the circumstances of every business project are unique, and that makes every executive summary unique. Where executive summaries look rolled off a template, more often than not, it'd miss out on employee accomplishments, though overall target achievements may be summarized - and if those summaries do not address the cares of stakeholders, then a simple executive summary of a project can end up hurting the workplace and business by ignoring employee achievements.