Board Decision Papers

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Board decision documents give directors the details to make educated decisions. They must be concise and easy to read as well as well-structured But, most importantly, they need to clearly show the decision making process to build confidence in directors and ensure that all pertinent facts are considered. The absence of, or incorrect or distorted information can cause poor decisions and delay strategic progress.

A well-crafted board paper will include a clear title and executive summary that helps directors understand the key points before they read on. This is because directors aren’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the organisation and are not well-versed in the details.

The paper should then outline the proposal and the reasoning. The proposal should be a concise overview – typically one page. It should explain the process by which the decision was reached by management and explain why the preferred option is better than other alternatives. If needed, tables or charts can be used to justify this. It is also helpful to describe any alternative analysis that was conducted. If the analysis is too intricate to be included in the body of the board’s paper, it should be presented as an appendix.

It is helpful to explain the financial impact of the decision. This should be explained in 3-5 sentences. It is particularly important to describe how the decision aligns with, enhances or supports the business and strategic plans that were agreed upon.

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