They say you learn something new every day.

Posts tagged ‘reports’

Getting Management To Listen (27/03/2012)

Management like PowerPoint. They love charts and summaries. You need to give them something like this every week/month and then they’ll be happy.

I’m producing a communications plan at the moment at work, to try to hit lots of these at once. It’s actually incredibly important – after all, if they don’t know you’ve done it, then you might as well not have bothered.

My boss has just come back from maternity leave, and a slight danger of her deploying some micromanagement. So to get in there quickly, and keep her happy and feel in control I need to put together a regular “pack” of stuff for her. She might not read it, but at least if she can see it or know it’s coming, she’ll be satisfied I have things in control.

And actually, depressing as this is, sometimes more important than actually having it under control.

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How to Write a Report (29/02/2012)

I did something in the description of this blog (and edited it into the very first post) that I’ve realised I need to reuse.

Elevator Conversation

They say you learn something new every day. This is my attempt to document that.

More Detail

If you do learn something new every day, how long do you remember it for? That’s a lot of things to store. This is my store of “learned things”. I like Steve Makofsky’s description of his blog as “backup of my brain”.

Even More Detail

My other thought was about Steve Yegge’s comment that “I sucked, and I still do, although hopefully less every year.” Steve’s talking about coding, but I think it works for every aspect of your life.

After all, replace the word “code” with your chosen profession in this quote from Jeff Atwood and you’ve got what this site is all about:

“You should be unhappy with code you wrote a year ago. If you aren’t, that means either A) you haven’t learned anything in a year, B) your code can’t be improved, or C) you never revisit old code.”

I was somewhat frivolous when I did it, but there’s something really useful about this style.

You capture everything in the first iteration, and people can stop reading there. Or, if they want more information, they can keep reading. It suits different audiences.

I think this is a good way of putting together reports and documents:

This report in one line.

Then:

This report in one page

Then:

This report in graphs and charts

Then:

This report in detail

Then:

This report in technical detail

Or something like that. It allows readers to get the gist of it all at once, and then jump to the level of detail they require. Obviously, you could do some even cleverer things if you delivered it in web format or something like that. Sadly, at the moment, people are still printing things off, but I think this can still work in the printed format.

I’m going to try it the next time I have to put something together.

There’s been a couple of times now when I’ve prepared a page report and people have wanted a 10 page one or a 10 page one and people have only really wanted a page one. This way, you can allow people to easily flow from one category to another.

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