which of the following is the most accurate statement about the executive summary? This is a topic that many people are looking for. newyorkcityvoices.org is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, newyorkcityvoices.org would like to introduce to you Overview of an Executive Summary – YouTube. Following along are instructions in the video below:
“My name is bill bowen. And i m a project management instructor here in ottawa ottawa canada in several of my assignments. I asked students to prepare an executive summary. A document they have produced executive summaries are important as they are frequently the most read part of a document and they appear in project management documents.
Such as the project plan project charter and business case. However. Many students struggle to determine exactly what information should go into an executive summary to help understand an executive summary. I have produced this short presentation on what goes into one to help give context.
This video will focus on the information requirements of the executive summary for a project plan an executive summary as its name implies is a short summary of the main points of the document. It appears is the first section in the document to give the executives. A quick overview of the main points in the document without requiring them to read all the documents details. It is the last section of the document to be written and the first section and in many cases.
The only session to be read you have no doubt already encountered this concept going by a different name executive summaries are similar in nature to an abstract that summarizes a formal speech book or research paper. They are also similar to the idea of a synopsis that you may have come across that provides a short outline of a book play tv show or movie. So we ve all encountered the concept of an executive summary. Before now let s find out how it is used within a project management environment.
There are two basic approaches to an executive summary. We will briefly look at both of them there is a holistic approach that tries to summarize not only the current document..
But also includes background context to everything that has led to this document and there is a standalone internal focused approach that essentially summarizes. The document itself without taking into consideration. The project status or related documents. Let s first look at the holistic approach.
A good example of a holistic approach can be found in the project plan templates recommended by the treasury board of canada. I ll put a link to their templates in the comment section below their project plan template advocates that the executive summary should provide a summary of not only the project plan. But also of the project as a whole including the previous phases of the prod and it s related documents. This includes information that would normally be contained in other related project documents such as the projects business case feasibility study or charter.
The benefits of this approach is that the project plan becomes a self contained standalone document that contains all the information. The reader needs the downside to this approach is that you now have the same information appearing in multiple documents. Which can make updating the documents a little tricky as you have to remember to update the information in each document that it appears in alternatively there is an internal focused executive summary approach if you look at the formal definition of the term executive summary from sites such as wikipedia you ll find that it states in an executive summary simply summarizes the key information for the document that it appears in the goal of an executive summary is to allow the reader to quickly become familiar with the main points of the project plan without having to read all the details. Remember executives who frequently do not have the time or the interest to read all the details about a plan your summary should provide them the main points of the plan and if they wish to know the details then they can read the rest of the plan when we study project management we usually write these types of internally focused executive summaries this is because as part of our studies.
We usually create documents in isolation for example. We will create a project plan without first creating the related documents. Such as the project charter business case. Or feasibility study.
So summarizing. The project progress to date is not really possible so let s look at what information goes into an internally focused executive summary your first step in creating an executive summary should be to review the assignment template and see what is called for often guidance on the type of information needed is presented there beyond checking the template..
You should give some thought and the types of information. That you as an executive would want to know about thinking about what you would consider key information from the project plan will help you focus on what should be summarized some good information candidates for the executive summary would include a summary of the general approach to the project indicate any externally imposed constraints such as due dates and budget limits indicate how the project will fulfill its acceptance cheriya. You may also feel that is important to summarize the resources that the project would utilize or give a high level summary of the project budget. You may also feel that the executives should know about the key points regarding.
The project schedule. Perhaps identify some of the major milestones delivery dates are important decision points as for what else goes into the executive summary. You ll need to give that some thought look over your project plan not everything has to be summarized. But consider the information from the executives perspective and pick out the information that you feel they should know about now let s give some examples of the types of information.
That you would not put into an executive summary first off don t mix up an executive summary with a document outline i have seen some students simply identify the types of information that will appear in the document. Without summarizing. It for example. They will note that the document will contain constraints dependencies.
A schedule. Etc without actually summarizing. The information. That s contained in the document.
This high level content. Information is usually found within the table of contents or as part of a special section called the document outline it does not belong in the executive summary also don t introduce new ideas and content into your executive summary that does not appear elsewhere in the document..
The executive summary should summarize the information and not introduce new information. But this raises an interesting point where do you put supporting project related information. Often students want to add information that they feel is important. But does not fit anywhere in the project plan template that they ve been provided well they cannot speak for other instructors here s what i recommend my students do in this situation.
You can always create a new section in your document for example. If you want to include project related. Supporting background information. You can create a project background or project.
Introduction section in your project. Plan and add this type of information into that section. Alternatively. You can create a note that points the reader to the different documents that you feel would contain the information for example you could simply state that project background information can be found in the project charter from an academic perspective.
This strategy demonstrates your knowledge of how all the project management documents fit together and from a practical business perspective it prevents configuration control problems that can sometimes be encountered when you re having to synchronize. Multiple documents with the same information in it. The same strategy can be utilized for project justification information. That would appear within the business case.
You can simply create a new section with it or provide a pointer to your business case document. Saying..
You can find the information. There likewise. Many students feel that the organizational goals and objectives should be included in the project plan. This information is normally contained within the corporate strategy document.
But if you wish to include it you can either include a link or create a new section that deals with it as an aside. I have produced a short video on differentiating between organizational goals and objectives and project goals and objectives. This is an area that many new project managers sometimes struggle on to differentiate between i ll leave a link to this video in the comments section. If you wish to check it out so to wrap up executive summaries do just that they summarize information for executives.
Different templates and different approaches exist. And they have different recommended information be situational adapt to what is needed keep your executive summary short. Even enlarged reports and plans. Executive summaries are usually less than one page follow the provided template focus on the key information.
That you feel an executive would need to know about and keep in mind that in a business world. The executive summary may be the only section that people actually read i hope that this information has helped if you ve enjoyed the video. I have other videos on project management related topics feel free to check them out. ” .
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My name is Bill Bowen – I am a college-level project management instructor in Ottawa, Canada.
As an aid to my students in understanding how project goals and objectives are determined within a project s planning phase, I have uploaded this supplementary video.
Referenced links within the video:
– Goals and objectives video: https://youtu.be/8CRkt2-7zBg
– Treasury board template: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/biens-property/sngp-npms/ti-it/etivcapft-idsfvpcvc-eng.html#p12
I hope that everyone who takes the time to watch this video finds it to be useful and beneficial.
I invite you to check out my YouTube Channel for other project management related videos.
2016 William Bowen original material
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