Executive Briefs: It is very important to follow the format on the following page. The Executive Brief should relate to the assigned reading. For example, prior to the third class you will read chapters 10, 15, 16, & 17. The article selection for this Executive Brief should relate to any topic within those four chapters.
Articles must be selected from a business related publication, i.e., Management Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, etc. The article must not be over 45 days old from the date the brief is due. Briefs must be typed and be no more than one page in length; however, please fill the majority of the page with text. A copy of the article must be attached to the brief or attach the article as a hyperlink. The copy of the article can also be handed to the professor in class. There should be an even “flow” of thoughts and ideas, using correct grammar, structure, etc., leading to a logical conclusion.
Structure the paper so that the emphasis is on your analysis. In the vast majority of cases you should not follow the structure of the article. It looks like the easy way to do things. That practice tends to result in a series of points, many of which are repetitive. It puts the emphasis on the structure of the work, not on your discussion (Sillars & Gronbeck, 2001, p 51).
“A paragraph contains the development of one idea. Paragraphs help to clarify your argument by giving the reader a visual indication of separate arguments. You should avoid undeveloped paragraphs, especially one-sentence paragraphs unless they are used to achieve some specific effect. One-or two-sentence paragraphs usually signal underdevelopment or lack of explanation/illustration. Conversely, avoid the temptations to have page-long paragraphs with several ideas in them; they often overwhelm your readers. Use paragraphs to put your ideas into reasonable sections” (Sillars & Gronbeck, 2001, p 54).
EXAMPLE OF EXECUTIVE BRIEF
FOR FORMAT ONLY!
1. NAME OF ARTICLE: Multi-project Control
2. AUTHOR: Robert A. Howell
3. PUBLICATION: Harvard Business Review, August 1, 2014
4. SITUATION: How can a manager best control several production and research and development (R&D) projects simultaneously when the projects may vary in duration, value, and technical complexity? A system was developed and refined in a large electronics corporation and has been implemented in two of the company’s divisions.
5. DISCUSSION: The management of the corporation wanted a system that would encourage project managers to assume a greater responsibility for the final results of their projects, to set higher but realistic goals, and make better use of periodic formal reviews. The system was developed to eliminate surprises during the life of the project, and to allow top executives to substitute for each other in the review of projects and decisions made that affected the work. Additionally, management desired a control system suited to directing a large variety of projects. To control the varied projects, management required every project to have a written program plan prepared by project managers at the start of a project. The plan defines objectives, approach, and commitments being assumed by managers. The heart of the system is the Program Status Report (PSR). This report is used to determine which project will require special attention during a particular phase of the project. Every active project has a progress report submitted each month to ensure milestones are met and schedules are being followed. The implementation of this program had caused a marked decrease to the percentage of projects not on schedule.
6. CONCLUSIONS: Because of the development and implementation of this system, managers of various projects no longer feels intimidated. Also, they tend to accept full responsibility for the outcome of projects they are managing. Additionally, project managers are no longer in the dark as to what higher management wants to know about their projects, leaving no doubt as to what is expected. Further, top management is able to review a large number of projects easily and direct their attention towards those programs that are in need of help.
* Topic should be on Economics Growth and Business Cycles or The Federal Reserve System
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