Operations Management homework help. Writing Assignment #5

Short Report to a Decision-maker

Summary of assignment


  • Task: You will write a report that does the following:
    • defines a problem persuasively and accurately
    • proposes a solution to the problem to a decision-maker or group of decision-makers who can implement the recommendation
  • Topic: You will choose a problem in your workplace or your community
  • Length: 1400-1600 words
  • Citing Sources: You will not cite any sources in this paper except interviews or surveys you conduct through primary research. For this reason, you will not list any sources at the end of your report.



  • Writing Process: You will submit a first draft of the report to the assignment folder. The first draft will be given comments by the instructor.  After receiving comments from the instructor, you will submit a revised draft.  The final draft will be graded.


If you do not submit a second draft, the first draft will be graded.

  • Components of the report:
    • title page
    • memo to the decision-maker (app. 80-120 words)
    • executive summary (app. 150-200 words)
    • table of contents
    • introduction (app. 100-200 words)
    • discussion (app. 900-1100 words)
    • conclusion (app. 75-100 words)
    • recommendations (app. 100-200 words)


Topic Selection:

You must use the same topic on which you wrote your memo for writing assignment #4.  If you have a need to change your topic, you must contact your instructor as soon as possible.










(Please continue to the next page.)



Details on the Different Parts of the Assignment

Title Page

The following image shows the format you should follow for your title page:





Memo to the Decision-maker

In your memo, you will include the headings


The following screen capture shows a format you can follow for your memo.


Screen capture from Victoria Business School. “Writing a Business Report,”  https://www.victoria.ac.nz/vbs/teaching/resources/VBS-Report-Writing-Guide-2017.pdf

Executive Summary

The executive summary should be a stand-alone document.  In other words, if a reader were to read only your executive summary, the reader would have a good understanding of the problem you are writing about and the solution you are proposing to that problem.  In this report, your executive summary should be 150-200 words.

The following image shows the format you should follow for your executive summary.  Please keep in mind that this executive summary is about 260 words in length, so it is longer than the one you will write.  However, it provides a guide for how you can approach your executive summary.

Screen capture from Victoria Business School. “Writing a Business Report,”  https://www.victoria.ac.nz/vbs/teaching/resources/VBS-Report-Writing-Guide-2017.pdf



Table of Contents

This video shows how to create your table of contents.



In your introduction, you will tell your decision-maker what problem the report is analyzing.  It will do the following

  • describe the context of the work or community situation
  • describe the problem being analyzed in that business or community situation
  • state the questions your report will answer
  • define any terms, if necessary




The discussion area is the main part of your report.  In this section, you will provide evidence of the problem and justify your recommendations.  You will need to be clear, thorough, and persuasive.

The following examples demonstrate the need for clarity, thoroughness, and persuasiveness:

  • If you are writing a report recommending that your company allow teleworking, you do not want to write a few sentences about how teleworking is convenient. You want to quote some co-workers you have interviewed about how teleworking will benefit them.
  • If you are writing a report recommending that your company move from Google mail to Outlook, you do not want a few sentences on how good Outlook is. You want to show some screen captures of Google mail to demonstrate that it is awkward, is cumbersome, or has inconvenient features.  You also want to show some screen captures of Outlook to demonstrate that it does not feature these shortcomings and improves upon these problems.
  • If you are writing a report recommending that a sidewalk be repaired in your neighborhood, you do not want a few sentences describing why sidewalks should be smooth. You want to show some photographs of the sidewalk that is in disrepair, demonstrating why its current state is unsafe, unsightly, or otherwise undesired.
  • If you are writing a report recommending that your local high school repair parts of its football field, you do not want a few sentences describing the value of athletics for high school students. You want to show some photographs demonstrating where the field needs to be repaired, quote individuals that you have interviewed on the problems with the field now, etc.


Notice that in all four examples listed above, primary research was included.  Interviews with co-workers or individuals in the community, screen captures of software applications, or photographs of the neighborhood or the football field all represent primary research.  Such research adds to the persuasiveness of the report.

Without this type of evidence, the report is not thorough and lacks persuasiveness. The decision-maker will not be persuaded that the problem you are outlining is an actual problem unless you can demonstrate that it is an actual problem in the context.

Moreover, in the discussion, you describe, in paragraph form, your conclusions and your recommendations.  You need to explain why you have come to these conclusions and why you are making these specific recommendations.




In the conclusion, you take an objective stance.  You summarize the findings of your research without putting your own opinion into the analysis.

In your conclusion, you will do the following:

  • summarize your findings
  • connect your findings to the problem you have identified
  • present the conclusions in parallel form
  • bullet the list of conclusions


You stated your conclusion in the Discussion section.  However, in the Conclusion section, you will list the conclusion concisely and succinctly in bulleted form.





In the recommendation, you take a subjective stance in the report.  You give your opinion on how the problem should be addressed.

In your recommendation, you will do the following:

  • number specific steps of action you recommend in parallel form, beginning with a verb
  • rank the recommendations, listing the most important recommendation first, the second most important recommendation second, etc.


Please note that this section should be brief.  A busy administrator does not want to pore through long, dense paragraphs trying to locate your recommendations.  The decision-maker should be able to see at a glance what your recommendations are.

You stated your recommendations in the Discussion section.  However, in the Recommendation section, you will number the recommendations concisely and succinctly.









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