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Lesson 8. Add Information as Needed > The How the Plan Works Section - Pg. 32

Add Information as Needed 32 Beyond the use of exhibits and appendixes, there are occasions when you have information to impart that is awkward to include in one of the sections of a standard document. For example ... · When the plan you're recommending is complex or requires a significant amount of explanation to understand completely, you might want to add a section that describes how the plan works. · When the plan you're recommending carries significant risk or possible repercussions that are hard to quantify and address briefly, you might want to add a Risks section. · When you've considered other plans designed to accomplish a similar objective, and need to provide some explanation of why the other plans are not as appropriate as the one you're rec- ommending, you might add a section describing other considerations. In cases where you need to address one or more of these issues but can't do so in a sentence or two in either the recommendation or the rationale, it is appropriate to add a section specifically to address these concerns. We'll examine each type of additional section previously described sepa- rately. The How the Plan Works Section If the plan you're recommending is complex or requires a significant amount of explanation to un- derstand completely, you may wish to include a How the Plan Works section. Since a detailed explanation of the plan could disrupt the flow of the recommendation and the corresponding rationale points, you should include this section after the rationale. Writing a How the Plan Works Section In Lesson 6, "Making Your Recommendation or Conclusions," we discussed a proposal to nationally expand a marketing plan that had been successfully tested in a small part of the United States. The Recommendation section read as follows: Recommendation:This seeks management agreement to national Brand X marketing plans. Specifically, we would expand the identical plans on the identical timing as in test market. The same marketing plans and timing are warranted given the significantly higher than objective business results and consumer adoption. Clearly, in this example, the details of the marketing plan will be an important part of the decision- making process, and should be included in the document. However, the plan specifics don't have an impact on the rationale for the recommendation, as the rationale focuses on share and shipment results and other relevant information about how the plan was performing in the test market. In this case, the specifics of the plan aren't the issue--the plan as a whole is working, and that's the basis on which the recommendation to expand is made. Therefore, your memo will flow more smoothly if you wait until after your rationale to provide the plan details. Caution Even when including a section to describe how the plan works, you should still try to make the plan description as clear and succinct as possible. If the plan is too confusing, your reader may not fully understand it and be less ready to accept it. Tip If the plan you're recommending has more than four or five main elements, or your de- scription of the plan requires more than two or three paragraphs, consider summarizing the plan in the Recommendation section and adding a How the Plan Works section to provide the details.