I learned this one only having seen hours of my work go completely un-noticed. If you’re ever asked to work on ATP reports or write up why something was big-time hosed, here is my recommendation. Put whatever message you are trying to convey in the very first paragraph. Preferably in two sentences or less.
I call this the Director’s rule because anytime you are communicating with anyone at the Director level or above, they have very little bandwidth. The usually only have time to read the first paragraph. If you haven’t delivered your payload by the beginning of the first word in the second paragraph, their comprehension will drop exponentially until they stop reading.
Now there is the occasional executive that will read your documents, but only if he in turn needs to report to his superior why the ATP reports were late. So in that situation, I put the payload first, and then follow with the justifications, and the explanations, and things of that nature.
And God forbid, DO NOT use any information technology buzzwords in your payload paragraph or you jeopardize their comprehension free falling to 0. Remember, simple is as simple does. Hit’em with both barrels right from the start, no matter how good or bad; and keep it very simple.
Am I right? Or, am I right?