Sharing project results via an excel spreadsheet is a dead-end. In this post, we’re breaking down nine different pages to include in your project recap for clients, as well as some design tips along the way!
Sarah Podella // July 9, 2021
We talk a lot about workflows and phases of contract review projects on our blog. Over the years, we’ve shared tips for pitching and scoping contract review projects; similarities and differences of eDiscovery and contract review; different use cases and ways to create opportunities, and a number of technical resources for successfully executing said projects. However one area that isn’t talked about enough on this blog (and the industry as a whole) is sharing and handing off project results back to the client.
Successfully executing a contract review project is often weeks or months in the making. Once a project is finally completed, project managers have a valuable opportunity to engage clients in a new way with their data that often gets overlooked. Sharing project results via an excel spreadsheet is a dead-end for both parties. In this post, we’re breaking down nine different pages to include in your project recap for clients, as well as some design tips along the way. And as an added bonus, at the end of this post we’re also sharing a brand new template – now available in our partner resource center!
1. Cover Page
One of the most underated, but important pages of your project recap is the cover page. Cover pages are a great way to personalize your firm, engage the reader, and impress clients right off the bat. A good cover page demonstrates the level of care, organization, and attention to detail that went into your clients’ project. Be sure to include things like:
2. Table of Contents
Generally, any document more than five pages (with multiple topics) should include a table of contents (TOC). TOCs are helpful for first-time readers to understand the information they are about to review, in addition to returning readers who may be looking for something specific, so be sure to include page numbers throughout your document.
3. Executive Summary
Ideally any document with a table of contents also has an executive summary. And although it is the first page with any meat in your report, it should actually be the last page written so that you can sufficiently summarize everything else.
Executive summaries should never be more than one page and only include images or graphs if needed. A great starting point when writing your executive summary is to flip through the rest of your report and summarize the most important information on each page in one or two sentences. From there, you can re-structure the best way to present the information to the reader and, if needed, write more to fill in any gaps of context. Bullet points can be helpful, so long as there is enough context to support them and/or they are written in full sentences.
4. About Us
If you’re lucky, your project recap will end up in the hands of senior colleagues of your client. Keep in mind, these executives may not know who your firm is or what specific services you’ve provided, so this is likely their first touchpoint with your company. After they’ve reviewed all the valuable takeaways in the executive summary, it’s a nice touch to include more information about your company and relevant links or contact information.
5. Key Features Used
You are the technology expert, so more often than not, clients do not have full understanding of how the sausage is made. Including a brief overview of what tools or features were critical to the success of their project will help your clients be able to provide more accurate feedback as well as recall what they thought worked well on future projects.
6. Data Sources & Phase Priorities
With so many people involved throughout various points in a project, when recapping the end results, it is helpful to list out some foundational information. Including what sources of data documents were pulled from, as well as how the project was phased at a high-level helps everyone understand how the results were achieved.
7. Transition Pages
If your report’s sections are long and/or could be turned into a standalone document, consider adding transition pages. Aside from the obvious (helping readers transition and shift context), transition pages can also help readers better retain information (and its placement).
For example, in our report template, we always include a transition page before our click-thru guides. This allows us or clients to easily separate this section from the main report if needed, as well as break up the long pages of text prior.
8. Click-Thru Guides
Educating clients on how to explore their project data and results is the key to success. In addition to a live demo or walk-through, click-thru guides are an excellent supplemental resource. They can help build confidence and transparency in your partnership and allow your client to maximize their outcomes with their data.
We recommend creating a key to help explain any click instructions and clearly label specific buttons or tabs. To limit any confusion, only include what’s essential to navigate the project results, but also don’t be afraid to include multiple click-thru guides!
9. Back Cover
Back covers confirm the report is complete, and are another great place to leave a lasting impression. Be sure to include:
Ready to get started writing your next project recap? Check out our brand new template (that includes all the pages listed above) now available in our partner resource center!
Sarah is the Director of Marketing at Heretik. Prior to Heretik, she worked as the Product Marketing Manager for Shiftgig. Sarah began her career in advertising, working for brands like Nike, Verizon, Fireball, Coca Cola, the NFL, and more.