analytical report writing tarp

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Organizing and Writing Analytic Business Proposals

Formal Report Components1. Title page Balance the following lines vertically on the page:Title of report Name of the report receivers name, title, and organization Authors name, title, and organization Date submitted

Formal Report Components2. Letter or memo of transmittal Announce the topic and explain who authorized it. Briefly describe the project and preview the conclusions if the reader is supportive. Close by expressing appreciation for the assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, and offering to answer questions.

Formal Report Components3. Table of contents Show the beginning page number where each report heading appears in the report. Connect page numbers and headings with dots.

List of tables and illustrations Include a list of tables, illustrations, or figures. Place the list on the same page as the table of contents if possible.

Formal Report Components4. Executive summary or abstract Summarize the report purpose, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Gauge the length of the summary by the length of the report and by the organizations practices.

Use AIDA to PersuadeUse AIDA to persuade your audience to take your TARP into consideration. Attention Interest Desire (Reduce Resistance/Counterarguments) Action

Formal Report Components5. Introduction (Gain Attention) Explain why the report is being written. For research studies, include the significance, scope, limitations, and methodology of the investigation. Preview the reports organization. For receptive audiences, summarize the conclusions and recommendations. Convince the reader that a problem exists. Show that you fully understand the problem and its ramifications. Demonstrate with evidence the ramifications that have already taken place due to the problem (costs, staff, loss of customers, etc.)

Formal Report Components6. Body Findings Discuss the pros and cons of each alternative. For receptive audiences, consider placing the recommended alternative last. Establish criteria to evaluate alternatives. In yardstick studies create criteria to use in measuring each alternative consistently. Support the findings with evidence: facts, statistics, expert opinion, survey data, and other proof. Use headings, enumerations, lists, tables, and graphics to focus attention.

Formal Report Components6. Body: Build Interest/Desire (Reduce Resistance) Present your plan for solving the problem. Compute staff costs Itemize all costs carefully. Proposals are contracts. Establish credibility. Outline a schedule showing dates/deadlines. Describe evaluation process and recommendations.

Formal Report Components7. Conclusions/Recommendations Develop reasonable conclusions that answer the research question. Justify the conclusions with highlights from the findings. Do NOT present new information. Suggest feasible actions that would be acceptable to this audience.

Difference between Conclusions and RecommendationsConclusion: Survey results show that the biggest student complaint centered on long registration lines. Recommendation: Implement a registration reservation system in which students sign up for specific registration time slots.

Formal Report Components

7. Authorization (Action) Ask for approval. Make it easy to reply.

Formal Report Components8. Appendix/Appendices: Include items of interest to some, but not all, readers, such as: Data-gathering tools like questionnaires or surveys Interviewing notes

Formal Report Components9. References List all references on a page called References. Make sure to cite all referenced work in the body of the report to avoid plagiarism (and severe loss of points!)

Illustrating Data

Remember you are looking for: Meanings Relationships AnswersNote: Place all graphs/charts in text if they are page or less, otherwise place them in an appendix and refer to them in the text.

Illustrating Report DataForms and objectives of graphics Table To show exact figures and valuesClass Seniors Juniors Sophomor es Freshmen Agree 738 345 123 45 Disagree 123 34 234 567 Undecided 54 76 78 123

Illustrating Report DataForms and objectives of graphics Bar chart To compare one item with others48 47 46 45 44 43 421st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr

Enrollees

Illustrating Report DataForms and objectives of graphics Line chart To demonstrate changes in quantitative data over time100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2001 2002 2003 2004

Net ($M) G ($M)

Illustrating Report DataForms and objectives of graphics Pie graph To visualize a whole unit and the proportion of itscomponents (should add to 100%)Disagree 28% Agree 13% Strongly Agree 18% No Opinion 3% Strongly Disagree 38%

Structural Cues for Report Readers Use APA style

Structural Cues for Report ReadersHeadings and subheadings: Use appropriate heading levels: The position and format of a heading indicate the importance and relationship to other points. The example on the next slide shows how APA defines 3 levels of subheadings. The executive summary on the following slide illustrates commonly used heading format for business reports from a student sample.

Name of report Page 3 of 15

Levels of Report Headings REPORT, CHAPTER, AND PART TITLESThe title of a report, chapter heading, or major part should be centered in all caps, according to APA style. First-Level Subheading Headings indicating the first level of division are centered and bolded. A double-spaced report will only have one blank double spaced line between paragraphs and paragraphs are indented to cue reader. Doublespace (leaving one blank line) after a first-level heading. Second-Level Subheading Headings that divide topics introduced by first-level subheadings are bolded and begin at the left margin. Third-level subheading. Because it is part of the paragraph that follows, a third-level subheading is also called a paragraph subheading. It should appear in boldface print like the recommendations in your strategic memos.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Levels of Report HeadingsFindings

Statement of Purpose This report is designed to help Chrysler sell excess inventory and start producing vehicles that consumers will be enticed to buy. The primary issues affecting this transition include corporate culture, addressing past decisions, and continuous quality improvement.

Corporate Culture Chryslers corporate culture is working against its mission statement of producing vehicles that consumers want to drive. A hierarchical system of management has lead to infighting which the new chief executive officer, Dieter Zetsche, has vowed to do away with. However, Chryslers financial statements do not reflect the type of change that should be occurring. Addressing Past Decisions Losses of $1.5 billion for the third quarter of 2006 show that Chrysler is not producing vehicles that consumers want to drive. They have not paid attention consumers shift in demand from big SUVs to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. In the mean time, Japanese automakers, such as Toyota, are gaining more of Chryslers market share because they are paying attention to quality and what the consumer really wants. Continuous Quality Improvement Project: Refocus is designed to help Chrysler focus in on three critical issues pensions, high production costs, and slowing sales. Recommendations Sell excess inventory of vehicles. Inventories should be reduced within six weeks. Offer discounts of up to $2,500 if necessary. Flatten corporate hierarchy. Create cross-functional teams to increase synergy. They should offer monthly recommendations. Implement teams within one month. Monitor performance of CEO. If Dieter Zetsches performance has not improved by 15% within the year, a new CEO from outside the company should be sought. Reduce pension liabilities. Negotiate with the United Auto Workers for a defined-contribution plan. Lower liabilities should be realized by December of 2007. Cut production costs. Negotiate with United Auto Workers for less overtime. Explore possibility of production in China. Increase sales of new vehicles. Consumers should be surveyed to discover their desires. Consumers should also test and rate prototypes. New cars should be on the market within six months of the testing.

1. 2.

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5. 6.

Structural Cues for Report Readers Write short but clear headings. Experiment with wording that tells who, what, when, where, and why. Include at least one heading per report page. Integrate headings gracefully. Try to avoid repeating the exact wording of a heading in the following sentence. All subheadings should be listed on your table of contents with the page numbers.

Structural cues Page numberingPage numbers are crucial for formal reports to keep the reader oriented. Put your page numbers in a header on the top right hand corner of each page (APA style) as seen in previous sample slide demonstrating headings.

Researching Report Data

Researching Report DataResearching primary data Surveys Interviews Observation Experimentation

Researching Report DataLocating secondary print data Books card catalog, online catalog Periodicals print indexes, CD-ROM indexes

Researching Report DataLocating secondary electronic data Electronic databases (CSU Library) The Internet World Wide Web search toolsGoogle Ask Jeeves MSN search Yahoo!

Evaluating Web sourcesHow current is the information? How credible is the author or source? What is the purpose of the site? Do the facts seem reliable?

Two Documentation Formats Generally Accepted:Modern Language Association (MLA) Authors name and page (Smith 100) placed in text; complete references in Works Cited.

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