A Guide to Board Decision Papers

1 min read
Jun 16, 2022 12:00:00 AM

Decision papers are vital in contributing to an organisations success. Why? Well these reports arm board directors with the information they need to interpret, shape and make the choices that mould the company's future. In this whitepaper, the BoardPro team will explore what good decision papers look like, and how you can create them. 

The questions we will address in this guide include: 

  1. Why are decision papers so crucial? 
  2. Where do organisations generally go wrong? 
  3. What do good decision papers look like? 
  4. What is needed to implement and scale an effective decision-making process? 

Research shows that effective decision-making at higher levels within the organisation is actually powered by high-quality processes rather than data. Done well, decision papers can really help improve and provide evidence for this process, in turn enabling directors to challenge, shape and make higher-quality decisions. 

Too many decision papers concentrate heavily on data and its analysis. While they are thorough and well-researched, they do not demonstrate a consistent, robust decision-making process. This makes it more difficult for the management team to delineate its case, and for board and committee members to make decisions with confidence. 

Good decision papers lay out a robust decision-making process, but without pouring unnecessary details to the reader. They

  • State clearly what is being asked of the board
  • Provide context for decisions, such as why this opportunity, why now, etc
  • Outline the proposal succinctly, while anticipating and responding to the questions in the readers mind
  • Share insight on the other options considered
  • Lay out a clear plan for making the decision happen

A consistent framework is a great starting point. Our straightforward checklist will help you communicate a robust decision-making process to your board or committee. With our framework, you will be able to scale this process throughout your organisation.

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