How to Conquer Writing Deadlines—Collaboration is Key
Groups that face aggressive goals and deadlines need to boost their writing efficiency.
Communication is vital for every project’s success. How do colleagues collaborate best when many work remotely and even phone calls involve juggling time zones? If your business is big enough to be global, your teams do the bulk of their work through writing.
Writing provides a permanent record, and all readers can refer to it in their own time, at their own pace. But there’s always more to read, edit, and produce: quick check-ins and long reports, decisions to make and problems to explain. Anything dense, unclear, or careless will reflect badly on you at best—and seriously hinder your progress at worst.
Do any of these problems look familiar?
- Your people skip or skim each other’s e-mail.
- They complain that they’re not sure what they’re being asked to do.
- Logistics become a jumble when important facts (Where is that file? When is that meeting?) are hidden at the end of messages, or never appear at all.
- Hours and effort are wasted when multiple people, perhaps in different countries, work at cross purposes.
- You have to choose between handing in bad writing on time, or making edits and getting the work done too late.
What do you need to do?
Groups that face aggressive goals and deadlines need to boost their writing efficiency. Their messages must pack a lot of meaning into a form that’s quick to read (and write).
The most successful business writers
- put the bottom line on top to help readers instantly grasp their point
- take the time to plan carefully, knowing they’ll get the actual writing done quicker
- address readers’ needs and concerns by answering likely questions before they’re asked
- are familiar with the basics of good grammar, punctuation, and style, which reduces the need for time-intensive editing.
You don’t need to be an experienced editor to help your team achieve this: a business writing workshop can create drastic change in their communication. It can pay for itself in productivity and quality benefits. Effective, reader-centered writing unites your organization and encourages teamwork across global barriers.