Final Consulting Recommendation Report
The final part of the consulting project is the part of the products you ultimately deliver to the client, based on your analysis and the various types of research you have done. Here you present to the client your ideas that you hope will help the organization. You will present this report to the client along with whatever deliverable(s) you are preparing.
Your deliverables are:
Letter of transmittal: This is a one-page letter (or memo if you are writing it in-house) in which you present the report/product to the client. Basically, it reviews the purpose and scope of your project, evidence from your research to support the conclusions you have reached, a summary of your recommendations. Finally, it can consist of an offer of help in the implementation process (if appropriate). The letter of transmittal should NOT be paginated and should be placed on top of your report. Ideally it should be stapled to the cover of the folder in which your report is placed when you hand it in.
Title Page: Make sure that the person to whom you present this report is the appropriate audience, your client.
Table of Contents: Do not include the transmittal memo in the table of contents. Use small Roman numerals to paginate the executive summary, and include that in the table of contents. Unless you are using many visuals (charts, tables, etc), you do not have to include a list of figures.
Executive Summary: Use the guidelines in the textbook to write your one page executive summary. Write this after you finish writing the text of the report and creating the deliverables. As stated in the textbook, the Executive Summary should be about 10% of the length of the written report.
Body of the Report: Of course, the body of the report consists of the “meat” of the report and should be divided into appropriate headings (do not use “Body of Report” as a heading). Start with an introduction, and use the guidelines in the textbook for writing an effective one. I know it will feel repetitive, but this part of the paper should briefly summarize your project. It can consist of a discussion of the history and background of the problem, but discussion of the history of the organization should be minimal. Include your qualifications for writing the report. You may use information that you have written for previous segments of the report (edited, when appropriate).
Remember that this part is going to the client, so make sure it is appropriate for this audience. If you are telling the client something he should already know, indicate this fact by saying, “As you know…” or “As you are aware…”
Your body should consist of the recommendations you have come up with to help this client. The more detailed these recommendations are and the more developed they are, the better the report will be (for grading purposes) and the more it will help the client.
The body of the report is the place where you outline your financial plan, marketing plan, public relations plan or other proposal that you have created for the client. Whatever flyers or brochures you have designed as part of these campaigns should be part of the deliverable. The same is true with Website pages or courses you have developed for the client.
Any time you give the client any recommendation that involves his/her spending money, you must analyze the cost of your recommendation and see whether that expenditure would be worthwhile for the client. If not, you need to think of a less costly alternative. In any case, price out any recommendations involving money.
You should use headings liberally throughout the paper. What these headings are will differ in each report.
Please note that you may use some of the information you have already gathered in other parts of the project. You may reference your SWOT analysis; you may (and should) reference your survey, as well as your secondary sources. What you must remember to do, however, is change the wording to make it appropriate for your client. In other words, the initial topic proposal was written to the professor, but the recommendation report is to your client.
If you are telling the client something he/she should know already (such as background of the company), be sure to use words such as “As you know…” or “As you may remember…” The focus of the report needs to be the consultants (you) talking to the client and based on your research, offering some solutions to the problem being studied.
Visuals: Your report should contain at least one visual. The visual can be a graph, a chart, a picture, a table, or any other appropriate graphic representation. Incorporate the visual within the text of the report. However, don’t crowd the visuals on the page. Remember to make the text appealing and easy to read at all times. Make sure to label all visuals clearly.
Conclusion: This statement should consist of a summary of the recommendations. It should also include a statement concerning how these recommendations will impact the organization in the future. You can reference an implementation plan should you and the client decide to continue working together after this project is finished. The conclusion does not have to be lengthy.
If you wish to list the recommendations separately, feel free to do so. However, because you have spent the entire report discussing the recommendations, this part may be unnecessary.
Appendix: You should put survey or interview questions in the appendix. The appendix should also include any printed material you have from the organization and any other material you feel pertinent.
Works Cited/References: You have been required to consult at least 20 sources for this project. You have annotated many of these sources in the progress report/ annotated bibliography assignment. However, you may not have used all of these sources in your final report. List only those that you do end up using in the reference section of the recommendation report.
Remember, that any time you reference factual material, you must cite it. Remember, too, that even paraphrased material should be cited.
The length of the report will vary depending on the scope of your project, but it should be a minimum of 2,500 words, not including the letter of transmittal, the table of contents, the title page, the executive summary, references, and appendices. It does, however, include the visuals and all of your detailed recommendations.
The report should follow the format (spacing, margins, etc.) acceptable for the client.