09.02.2022 - News & Insights

How to Create a Board Pack Report and What to Include

Are you hoping to secure buy-in for an upcoming digital project? Perhaps your board of directors are cautious of sweeping technological change, and require extra reassurance?

Whatever your motives, a board pack report could help bridge the divide between day-to-day operations and the boardroom – providing an impactful means of highlighting the value of progressive new campaigns and activity.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a board pack report that communicates the what and the why of your day-to-day operations with senior stakeholders and members of the board. Use the links below to navigate or read on for the complete guide.

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What is a Board Pack Report?

A board pack report is one or more reports purposefully compiled for board members, providing top-line stats and information. They’re designed to aid decision-making and transparency, offering a digestible breakdown of key metrics and progress updates from all areas of a business.

Board reports have a highly specific purpose: to inform board members of progress, pain points, and states-of-play relating to a campaign, project, or operational area. They don’t contain granular-level detail and particulars, instead communicating headline metrics that inform a business’ strategy and objectives.

businesswoman working on tablet

Why Create Board Pack Reports?

There are several reasons why a business may choose to create board pack reports or request them from third parties, such as their digital marketing agency. Remember, though, that every report you compile, or request uses resources, so it’s important to be clear on why it’s needed, what it will achieve, and who will read it.

Here, we take a look at some of the typical reasons why you may need to create or request a board report.

  • To maintain buy-in from board members – It’s the job of a board to question the effectiveness and value of day-to-day operations, ensuring that activity aligns with the overall goals of the business. Regular board reports are a means of validating the ongoing success of a particular function, which is essential for continued funding and operational support.
  • To inform the wider business strategy – Board members are responsible for a company’s decision-making and strategy, for which they need up-to-date and actionable insights. Board reports provide these essential metrics, affording a means of forecasting and strategizing based on real-time evidence from individual departments and functions.
  • To support financial goals and profitability – While digital marketing activity (as an example) contributes much to a company’s success, senior managers and board members may not be concerned about its day-to-day operations and KPIs on a granular level. Instead, they want to see that business functions such as marketing are contributing to the business’ financial objectives. Board reports are a means of highlighting a department’s contribution without going into unnecessary detail.

These are just a few examples of why businesses typically compile board pack reports. They’re also very common when dealing with third-party services and suppliers, offering a way to demonstrate the value of such partnerships to senior stakeholders who may be sceptical about certain company investments and ventures.

employees working together in office

Things to Include in a Board Pack Report

Now that we’ve discussed the what and the why of board pack reports, you should have a better idea of the things they typically include. Remember, these types of reports are targeted at people who may be unaware of day-to-day activities and the terminologies that go along with them, so it’s important to keep things simple, clear and to the point when compiling board pack reports.

Below, we list some of the things you should include as part of your next board report.

  • Financial highlights X, Y, Z – Up-to-date financial data typically comes front and centre of a board report, and is the primary marker of success and performance that board members will be interested in. Senior stakeholders want to see how a specific business function is contributing to revenue and profitability, so lead with financial highlights that corroborate its value.
  • Areas of focus – What has a particular department been working on since the last board meeting, and why? Boards of directors will want to know the what and the why of current business activities and operational decision-making, ensuring their buy-in and support as you move forward with a particular project.
  • Industry state of play – Leading on from the last point, it’s a good idea to include some background and context to back up your decision-making. Are there any relevant updates you can provide on the state of play within your industry that have influenced decision-making since the last meeting of the board? How have current trends and competitor activity influenced operational activity?
  • Challenges, issues and pending activity – Honesty and transparency are of the essence within a board report, so don’t shy away from listing challenges and roadblocks which may have hindered progress. A board’s duty is to take an objective view of problems and strategize solutions, freeing up resources or rubber-stamping the need for external support to help see projects over the line.
  • Forecasts and next steps – After outlining top-line results, potential pain points and current areas of focus, it’s time to detail your department’s next steps over the coming quarter. What projects are in the pipeline and how will they contribute to the wider aims of the business? A forecast highlighting the financial benefits of such activity will appease wary board members, offering a tangible point of reasoning they can buy in to.
team brainstorm session

Tips on Creating a Board Pack Report

Compiling a board pack report isn’t difficult, but it’s important to include the right information and base any stats on up-to-date and reliable data. To help you get it right, here are a few things to consider when creating a board pack report.

  • Understand what the board wants – Boards of directors operate on a different plain to departmental managers and teams. For example, while a success in content marketing may excite internal marketing teams, the same may not be true of board members. When reporting to a board, consider their priorities and perspective; their job is to ensure business health, financial stability, and growth, so consider how your activities contribute to these underlying objectives.
  • Ensure solid data and sources – Given that your board pack may be used to implement sweeping strategic changes throughout the business, it’s critical that any information you provide is accurate and backed by up-to-date data. Always review information carefully before including it in your board pack, so you can be confident that everything is accurate and true.
  • Make information meaningful – When compiling a board report, it’s important to consider the bigger picture – much like board members themselves. The data and insights you include need to align with the wider objectives of the business, so bring everything back to the broad-stroke issues which board members are most interested in solving.
  • Avoid overdoing it on data – Including reams of data may feel like a value-add way to appease members of the board, but going overboard may serve to do the opposite, muddying your message and wasting resources in the process. Instead, stick to the salient facts and use charts and graphs to showcase data in an impactful and meaningful way.
  • Present your board report in a clear and impactful way – Typically, the board will decide how they want to receive a report and how it should be formatted, but if this isn’t clear, err on the side of simple. An electronic, easy-to-distribute board pack is typically the preferred way to go, but be mindful that some stakeholders may be less technologically minded, so be prepared to accommodate individual formatting and delivery needs where appropriate.

We hope this guide to creating clear, impactful board pack reports can help you maintain a healthy relationship with your board of directors, and secure the buy-in your project deserves. At Banc, we aim to become an extension of our clients’ businesses, working closely to deliver results for their specific goals and objectives. To learn more about our services, get in touch with the team today on 0345 459 0558.