Recommendation Report

The Final Recommendation Report aims to help students

Context

The Recommendation Report culminates an eight-week long group project that involves a Consultancy Simulation.

The Recommendation Report may include content that was presented in earlier texts, including the Problem Definition Heuristic, Client Proposal, and Group Research Proposal. However, this content is likely to have been revised in response to the new rhetorical situation for the Recommendation Report, instructor critiques and peer feedback on the earlier documents, and the team members’ increased understanding of the complexities of the topic, based on increased information literacy efforts.

Caution! 

In business contexts, if you ignore what the client has told you following customer discovery, you are unlikely to keep that client. Likewise, if you recycle substantial chunks of your Problem Definition Heuristic, Client Proposal, and Group Research Proposal into your final report without considering the feedback of your instructor and peers, you may alienate you reader. It is imperative that you refine, revise, and edit this content carefully.

Instructions

Now that you’ve completed your research, analyzed your findings, synthesized them, you are ready to develop a set of recommendations for your client.

The Recommendation Report has multiple purposes:

  • Defining or addressing the original business need/problem/opportunity
  • Explaining what work was done to research the problem
  • Offering conclusions that tell the client what the work means
  • Making recommendations for solving the problem

Required Content: Front Matter

Prepare the font matter only after you have a complete draft of the report, and don’t prepare the table of contents until the end. 

The report front matter will include:

  • Letter of transmittal
  • Cover
  • Title page
  • Abstract, which is sometimes referred to as an Executive Summary
  • Table of contents
  • List of illustrations

Required Content: Report Body

The body of the Recommendation Report will have the following sections:

SectionAnswers the questionNotes
PurposeWhat is the purpose of this piece of communication?Focus on the purpose of this document, not the purpose of the project.
Organizational SummaryWhat content is included in the memo?Provide a brief overview of the report’s main sections for readers who may only read the summary. 
Introduction What problem(s) does the report address? What is the context?Revise, redesign, and edit the description of the problem that you wrote in your Client Proposal and Visual Progress Report. Provide all of the background and rationale for pursuing this study. Include subheadings and multiple paragraphs for:
1. Summary of the report,
2. The purpose of the report,
3. The background,
4. The sources of information,
5. The scope,
6. The most significant findings & recommendations,
7. The key terms.
8. A visualization that provides an illustration of the central argument of the recommendation (e.g., statement of the problem, stakeholders, and potential solutions.
Research MethodsWhat work was done? How? Why?Use task orientation, describe exact tasks performed, the rationale for each task. Demonstrates to the reader that you followed the plan outlined in the research proposal. If you made deviations, identify why.
Results (aka Findings)What did you find out from your research?From a task-orientation perspective, distinguish between primary and secondary research findings.
Limitations of the Study (optional)What are the shortcomings of this study? What could we not study? Did anything go wrong?Optional section. Include if you encountered any problems that might limit your recommendations
Conclusions (aka Discussion or Analysis)What do your results mean?Your research won’t “speak for itself” to the client. You have to tell the client what your results mean. Draw conclusions and implications based on what you have learned. Explain the relationships between pieces of data/information. Describe trends. If there are anomalies, explain what seems wrong or different from what was expected. 
RecommendationsWhat recommendations can you offer based on your conclusions?Tells the reader what steps, measures, actions they should take in light of the conclusions you have reached. Explain how the recommendations might be implemented. 
Required content: Report back matter

Collect material for the appendices as you go. The report back matter will include:

  • Bibliography, which is sometimes referred to as Works Cited or References (Use a citation format appropriate for your field (APA, MLA, Chicago, IEEE, etc.)
  • Appendices (e.g., letters of support, financial projections.

Required features: Formatting and design

  • Page layout: Appropriate to audience, purpose, and context. 8.5 x 11 with 1-inch margins is a fail-safe default.
  • Typography: Choose business-friendly fonts appropriate to your audience, purpose, and context; Arial for headers and Times New Roman for body text is a safe, neutral default.
  • Headings and subheadings: Use a numbered heading and subheading system, formatted using the Styles function on your word processor.
  • Bulleted and numbered lists: Use lists that are formatted correctly using the list buttons on your word processor with a blank line before the first bullet and after the last bullet
  • Graphics and figures: Support data findings and arguments with appropriate visuals – charts, tables, graphics;  Include numbered titles and captions
  • Page numbering: use lower-case Roman numerals for pages before the table of contents, Arabic numerals; no page number on the TOC.

Recommended Schedule

ScheduleAssignments & Suggested ActivitiesReadings
One Class Meeting
Mindset
Growth Mindset
Intellectual Openness
Metacognition & Self-Regulation
Professionalism & Work Ethic
Research on Intrapersonal Competencies
Resilience

Submission Guidelines

  1. Upload the Recommendation Report to your group’s Project Management Portfolio.
  2. Link to your Recommendation Report at the Group Project Page. Add the link as well to your TOC at your Project Management Portfolio.
  3. Upload the Recommendation Report and supporting materials to Canvas
  4. All of you should upload a paragraph that
    1. summarizes your contributions to the group project
    2. provides a link to Milestone #9, Group Project Evaluation Memo

When you share Google Folders/Docs with peers and your instructor, double check that all required documents are shared given Edit permissions (rather than simply share).

Your instructor may want (1) to provide feedback directly on your portfolio at the Google site; (2) share your team’s work with other teams/people; (3) assign peer review of student work across teams

Additional Resources