What is an executive summary?
Time is a precious commodity, especially when it comes to preparing business proposals and meeting multiple deadlines. Fortunately, there are ways to control most project details, minimize setbacks, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Although it is vital to comply with all RFP specifications, it does make sense to streamline the process wherever possible. One way to accomplish that is by using a professionally prepared executive summary template in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or PDF. An executive summary template is a document that provides the framework for summarizing a proposal, a service delivery plan, or a strategy for solving a business problem.
Executive Summary Template Word
How to Write an Executive Summary
Executive summaries generally consist of a distilled version of a much longer plan and vary in length from one to four pages. However, in most cases, brevity works best - especially considering that it’s a supporting document that is typically accompanied by more detailed information about qualifications, experience, background, quality assurance, and methodology.
Executive Summaries Contain These Elements
When a client or a team member glances at an executive summary template, they should quickly find all the main details of the project. Here’s a list of the specifications that are typically included in the document:
- Project name
- Target year
- Current status
- Project manager lead
- Success Factors vs. risks
Other key elements of an effective project executive summary include the following:
- Company description and organizational structure (if applicable).
- An analysis of the client’s problem and a brief narrative of your proposed solution.
- Competitive advantages: What sets you apart from the competition?.
- A description of your product or service and the target group it serves.
- A strong conclusion to reinforce your strengths and position your team as the most qualified.
The “Overview” section of the executive summary is an opportunity to write about and demonstrate your understanding of the challenges the client's faces and propose your unique strategy for solving those problems. Projections of how long it will take and what results can be expected may also be included.
The “Budget” section is critical because it provides the client with a reference point for what the project will cost, how your pricing model compares to the competition, and how the money will be allocated.
Difference between Executive Summary Template and Business Plan - Although an executive summary is much shorter and more focused than a business plan, both can be described as “a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved.” (Source of the quote: Wikipedia.)
In addition to stating your objectives and quality assurances in the project executive summary template, it’s also common practice to acknowledge the possibility of unforeseen issues -- ones that are either technical, functional, or operational in nature. As any project manager will attest to, things don’t always go exactly as planned -- despite the best intentions and efforts of everyone involved.
Benefits and Advantages of Project Executive Summary Templates
Well, formatted templates can save you and your team hours of valuable time and help ensure that all details of a project are completed quickly. There are several advantages to using a well-organized, professional-looking executive summary template, including the fact that it can give you an edge in the competitive bidding process.
The executive summary is a document that helps keep projects on track and give clients the high-level information they want.
- An executive summary is an effective communication tool and provides clients with a convenient “snapshot” of a project's key facets.
- The project overview section answers several important questions such as “What are the objectives of this project?” “Who is going to be responsible for its implementation and success?” “What is the timeframe?” “What sort of testing procedures or quality control measures will take place?” and “What is unique about your company, your track record, and your implementation strategy.”
- The strategic alignment section of the executive summary template enables clients and team members to see, at-a-glance, the progress and current status of crucial project areas, such as the following:
- Operational efficiency
- SEO leader
- Email automation
- Customer satisfaction
A well-written executive summary template shows that you and your team are organized, professional, and qualified. Not only is it important to convey this impression during the bidding phase of a project, but it also helps maintain trust throughout the project.
Executive Summary Templates are Powerful Marketing Tools
When an executive summary is used for marketing purposes, it can and should call attention to your superior planning abilities, analytic skills, innovative solutions, and overall preparedness. Highlighting your team’s relevant background and experience will also help you win more contracts and grow your business. A few distilled sentences allow you to describe your vision for the project and provide details on how you and your team intend to implement those plans.
Many factors can favorably affect your company's growth, but foremost on the list is credibility and clear communication. By fortifying your proposal with a strong executive summary template in Word or other popular formats, you’ll be laying the groundwork for attracting new clients and branding yourself as a company that believes in high standards of excellence.
Your Source for Project Executive Summary Templates
Techno-PM offers a variety of high-level template packages and downloads, which can provide the tools you need to seamlessly manage projects, submit competitive bids, and project a positive image to clients and members of your team. Using the package templates can also help keep your project on schedule, prevent miscommunication, and make sure important details are shared with clients and team members.
We invite you to download a free project management template to get a clear idea of our templates' quality, variety, design, and layout. All our products are accompanied by a detailed user guide that will answer any questions you might have and help you get the most benefit from our template packages. We offer over 230 project management templates covering everything from project management reports and business analysis to budget planning, timelines, and task management. As a customer, you can also look forward to free updates every month.