A lot of work goes into producing a good executive summary of key evaluation report findings. Executive summaries are typically 1 to 2 pages in length, can be photocopied on 1 sheet of paper, and are easily distributed.
A good executive summary requires the evaluator to rethink the original report. This task should not be a cut-and-paste job from the body of the report. The evaluator literally has to step back, think beyond what a specific finding shows, and strategically tease out key information into a succinct summary.
Writing a good executive summary takes time and practice. The more that you do it, the better you get. Unless you are gifted at playing chess and can anticipate future moves of your client, don’t attempt to write the summary until the report is finished. Tackle this task last, or even consider sharing the report with clients and then facilitating a conversation with them to discuss key findings. This step in turn can enrich how you frame the summary.
Stay tuned for more about this subject in the future!