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Ways to avoid writing reports

 
#1 Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 11:20

Bushy Eyebrow Partner

Hi guys. Doesn't it just suck, having to write long reports? It's like being back at university, sweating over a thesis that nobody cares about.

Yet, clients expect those reports.

So, how can we avoid having to write the damn things?

Ideas on a postcard please.

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#2 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 11:26

arthurandersen to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

Bushy aren't you a Partner? Surely you get the rest of us to slave over the reports, go crazy with your red editing pen and then do a 1 slide Executive Summary ? :)

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#3 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 12:36

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to arthurandersen (#2)

Yes, that is exactly how it should work....

Sadly I often end up having to write the darn things myself, however. Had a complaint from a client that some work wasn't good enough and it turns out that the client was right. No matter how much bum-kicking I do, the only way it's going to get done properly is if I do it myself for this one. I loathe writing these dam things. And you just can't get the staff these days, people just seem unable to write reports within an agreed time budget.

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#4 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 12:42

arthurandersen to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

Better in the old days eh? I would have to agree. In particular, some of the spelling, grammar and general written English I see these days makes me cringe. What about presenting in interactive PDF, or an app, or something like that over PPT - more piccies, less writing etc...?

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#5 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 12:52

Frio to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

I often wonder how some of the people I work with have been able to succeed in life.

Their written work is often a shambles - spelling and grammar mistakes, no proof reading, lack of understanding of the subject matter, poor verbal reasoning and non-sequitur logic.

I have no idea how to avoid writing reports. My current client is quite happy to forgo the written report at the end of the project. However, this is not what my SM wants. So a report shall be produced!

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#6 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 13:01

arthurandersen to Frio (#5)

I agree Frio. I find it surprising that given that"critical deliverables" are usually written, firms don't check SPaG as rigorously as verbal reasoning in the interviews.

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#7 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 13:40

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to arthurandersen (#6)

I understand why the senior manager wants the report written... because when all is said and done, he needs something nice and chunky to show that "we did a good job guv, and here's the report to prove it". His rear end is exposed if the project goes wrong and he's got nothing tangible to show in his defence.

The worst thing is, this report isn't even a PPT deck. It's a Word document. Yeah, a text-heavy, essay-like thesis sort of thing. FFS!

I like the idea of using interactive PDFs or something like that... more pics, less text. Just whatever makes it easier to produce these damn things!

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#8 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 14:33

arthurandersen to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#7)

It works a treat. Just say you are driving "a more digitally relevant style of deliverable" or some sh*t like that. No one will dare challenge it.

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#9 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 15:10

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to arthurandersen (#8)

I need to hear more of this wisdom!

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#10 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 16:16

powernap to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#7)

I would try to at least optimise the report to exactly what the client needs it to record, target the content hard around that objective, and link to relevant project documentation where necessary for deep-dives. Of course there will always be the need to write them, but I would qualify hard with any client before I or somebody on my team is tasked with producing one.

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#11 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 16:36

arthurandersen to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#9)

Ha :)

Well, the way I look at it - will the client be able to look better in front of their boss waving the consulting version of War and Peace part 94 or some sexxed up Prezzi style app/quick fire PDF....

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#12 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 16:54

powernap to arthurandersen (#11)

Prezzi gives me motion sickness.

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#13 RE: Ways to avoid writing reports
06/01/2015 18:13

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to powernap (#12)

writing reports in MS word gives me nausea and IBS

;)

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