How to structure a management report for your business

How to structure a management report for your business

Need to write a management report? Check out our must-read tips!

Running a business is a major challenge, but it’s far from being an impossible mission. After all, there are techniques, resources, and strategies to help entrepreneurs to achieve success.

Managing finances, employees, inventory, marketing, and sales strategies are some of the many responsibilities of a leader. It might seem like a lot of work, but a management report can make everything easier and safer.

The premise is simple, but some managers don’t know how to prepare a good management report. If you are one of those professionals, don’t worry. We have listed all the steps to help you do so. So, keep reading!

The importance of the management report

Even when facing an unstable economy, entrepreneurs around the world tend to be persistent. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global Report of 2015, 66% of adults view entrepreneurship as a good career. 

There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world in the most varied segments. However, getting over your fear and investing in this dream is only the first step. You need to be strategic and work hard to achieve maximum performance.

In this context, a management report serves as a key instrument for the operation of any enterprise. It allows you to look at your business’ situation more accurately and helps you make safer and more assertive decisions.

With the report, you can analyze the results achieved and rethink the actions that aren’t working. This is because it presents the business’ particularities and its performance during the period being evaluated.

The 6 elements of a good management report

Now that you understand the importance of this document, in order to learn how to prepare a complete and effective management report, you need to know the elements that must be included in its structure.

Therefore, since the purpose of this post is to help you clarify any questions you might have on the subject, and not face problems with this task in your everyday life, let’s start from the basics. Take a look at the 6 indispensable elements for a good report!

1. Title

A management report is simply a document in the form of a report that serves to measure your business’ performance and helps in your decision-making process. For this reason, it’s important that it has a title.

Therefore, since there are reports for various departments and purposes, the title will help you identify the subject quickly and efficiently.

2. Contextualization

Contextualization is another indispensable element and allows the recipient – you or another employee -, to understand what will be analyzed in the following pages.

This text needs to be brief and objective, serving as an introduction for the metrics, statistics, and results that will be presented.

3. Objectives

Every management report is prepared for a reason. Therefore, don’t forget to insert the document’s objectives and focus on what is really important and useful for your business.

The reports should be an instrument that is easy to analyze and its objective should be very clear. Therefore, even before you start the process, carefully select the information that will be presented so that it is consistent with your objective.

4. Summary

A summary is a text for fast reading that contains only the most relevant information in the report. This way, managers can avoid having to read it in its entirety every time they have to make a decision.

A well-drafted summary optimizes your time and leads to faster and safer decisions. After all, the information is presented in a more objective manner, as in a mental map.

5. Results

Finally, your management report must have an area for the presentation of results.

In this item, we must insert all the relevant observations that have been made, as well as the statistics, tables, charts and performance metrics observed.

6. Conclusion

The conclusion is the closure of your report and must show your findings, which will be based on the information presented throughout the document.

As you can see, it isn’t about personal opinions. With the support of Big Data, the conclusion is proven in actual and updated information already collected. Therefore, it is so valuable for the management of the business.

Complete steps on how to prepare a management report

Many managers consider the preparation of management reports truly challenging. The truth is that this document has always been part of a business’ management, but has gained even more importance in recent years.

For this reason, we have prepared a complete list of steps so you can have a useful instrument at hand that can help you make more money, correct mistakes and take advantage of market opportunities. Keep reading!

Step 1: Plan before you start

Planning is the best way of producing a complete document that is beneficial for your business. Otherwise, you might waste time preparing a report that is incomplete or has irrelevant information.

Before you do anything, define the objectives and identify how the information presented will help your business grow. To do so, start by answering the questions described below.

 

  • For whom is this report being prepared?
  • What is the purpose of the report?
  • What information will be collected?
  • How can information help in the decision-making process?

Step 2: Invest in automated tools

Business management efficiency is a common goal for every entrepreneur. So, how about investing in automated management tools to create your management report?

To do so, there are technologies that simplify this task, optimize your time and ensure a much more satisfactory result.

Our first suggestion is Google Data Studio, a data visualization tool capable of transforming information into nice, intuitive and easy to understand management reports.

Our second suggestion is Primavera, which is a platform to help you easily manage projects and monitor results. Among its features is its integration with other management, data analysis and report generation software.

Finally, make sure you invest in Business Intelligence (BI) tools. They are essential for fast and safe decision-making. The best systems collect, organize, classify and analyze the data, which makes your work easier.

Step 3: Use clear and objective language

If you think that a management report requires specific terms and complex language, it’s high time you changed your mind.

Ideally, the document should be easy to read and interpret. Therefore, be clear and use informal language, and stick only to the essentials.

Therefore, don’t be wordy and remember that a manager’s busy routine requires fast reading and decision-making. The easier the report is to be interpreted, the more useful and important it will be for the business.

Step 4: Tell a story to engage readers

Overall, a management report consists of a lot of data and information. In fact, this is one of the reasons that make many managers find it to be a difficult document to prepare and understand.

However, it will clearly depend on the strategy while preparing it. In order to make the content attractive and not overwhelm the reader, a good idea is to contextualize the facts by telling a story.

This way, you’ll be able to combine the exposition and description of the situation being analyzed in a lighter manner that makes sense. This allows the results to be understood, creating engagement while it’s being read.

Step 5: Define the metrics and KPIs to be used

Do you usually use performance metrics and KPIs to manage your business? If they still aren’t part of your strategies, you should definitely look into it. 

Actually, KPIs (key performance indicators) are the most important metrics for your business. They are usually linked to your main goals and therefore, guide the preparation of management reports in a positive manner.

Therefore, choose which metrics will be used, collecting the data and sorting the information. After all, not everything should be included in the document.

Step 6: Establish a point of comparison

Whenever we want to evaluate the performance of strategies, departments, products or employees, establishing a point of comparison is essential.

Therefore, this should be your next step. Select the period in which the information will be collected and analyzed, and define goals or targets to outline comparisons.

If you are using tables, set up columns so that you can easily view the comparison. For example, you can add a column with your goals and another one with the results achieved. This will make it easier to understand the conclusion that will be presented at the end of the document.

Step 7: Insert visual elements into the document

As we mentioned earlier, the management report must be clear and easy to interpret. A good strategy is to use visual elements.

Tough routines full of obligations require dynamic tools and actions. Delivering a document with hundreds of pages isn’t productive at all, but the use of charts, mental maps and even videos during the presentation can improve the understanding of the information.

Step 8: Make a final review

After everything is ready, it’s time to make a careful final review. In this phase, you need to make sure that the final text doesn’t have any spelling mistakes, incompatible data and untruthful information.

Remember that this will provide credibility to the document and ensure that it is truly useful. In other words, it fulfills its role of making the management of your business easier.

Writing a management report is easier than you think

Have you learned how to prepare a management report? After reading this article, you have probably reached the conclusion that this isn’t an impossible task at all.

This document is crucial for the operation of any business and creating it is easier than it seems. Therefore, don’t waste any more time and follow our tips!

But before you do, how about learning a bit more? Learn how the Pareto chart can help you carry out tasks more efficiently!

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