International Business Communication Standards (IBCS®)
The International Business Communication Standards (IBCS®) are practical proposals for the conceptual and visual design of comprehensible reports and presentations. The IBCS® Standards are defined in a Creative Commons project hosted by HICHERT+FAISST and governed by the not-for-profit IBCS Association.Visit IBCS® project website
The SUCCESS formula of the IBCS® Standards
The IBCS® Standards consist of seven rule sets forming the acronym SUCCESS:
TOP TEN topics of the IBCS® Standards
Consider the following TOP TEN topics of the IBCS® Standards to improve your reports and presentations:
Messages Reports and presentations have messages. Present them at the top of each slide or report page.
Titles Titles identify pages, charts, and tables. Name the organizational unit, the measures, time periods and scenarios.
Time and structure Time and structure are the most important analysis types. Arrange time series horizontally and structural comparisons vertically.
MECE Well-structured content is mandatory for understanding. Choose Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive (MECE) subsets.
Charts Charts are key for perception. Prefer columns, bars, and lines to pies and gauges.
Labels Labels name data. Integrate labels for data series and values in charts. Try to avoid value axes and grid lines.
Scenarios Scenarios represent the data categories to be compared. Use standard notations for actual, planned, and forecasted data.
Variances Variances are differences between scenarios. Use pins for relative variances. Unify colors for good and bad variances.
Scaling Comparisons require consistent scaling. Don’t cut axes. Use the same scale for the same units. Add scaling indicators if necessary.
Highlighting Highlighting accelerates comprehension. Use unified indicators such as ellipses, trend arrows, and difference markers.