Presentation on theme: "Writing a Business Brief BSB115 – Management"— Presentation transcript:
1 Writing a Business Brief BSB115 – Management Prepared and Presented byGraham Klaassen(4S Study Skills Program Coordinator)
2 On Completion of this Seminar, you will be able to.. Describe the characteristics of a business briefExplain the advantages of a business briefDiscuss the process for developing a business brief
3 What is a Business Brief A verbal or written report that: – gives the receiver information they need to make an informed decision. OR - provides information so the receiver is up to date on an issue.
4 Purpose of a Business Brief Provide a summary of an issue/topicIdentify relevance (Make it relevant) to the businessIdentify any implications – positive & negativeRecommend course/s of action including arguments for and against suggested action/s.
5 Other important points Written objectivelyWritten in a persuasive, active toneShort and to the pointProvide enough information to enable a decision to be made quickly
6 The Essence of a writing a Business Brief Extracting the maximum amount of information then conveying this information in the minimum number of words without losing or distorting the ORIGINAL meaning.
7 Structure of this Business Brief Cover Page – See Task sheet for detailsIntroductionAnalysis of the Topic – As per task sheet template OR modify the structure as you see fit.One or two RecommendationsReference List (APA Style)
8 Structure of the brief Section Explanation Introduction Approx. word countIntroductionIdentify the purpose of the report and define the management issueAnalysis of the issueGive a general overview of the issue (i.e. consider what it means, how it can be applied, when it should be used). Explain how the issue is or isn’t relevant to your particular business. Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and determine whether you think the issue is something your business should consider as part of the management strategy.250RecommendationsMake One or two recommendations for your business that suggest a course of a action from your analysis of the management issue. If you conclude from your analysis of the business issue that it is good for your business, then recommend ways to implement it in your business.Reference listUse QUT APA – see Cite/Write for further information. List only the sources you have referred to/cited in your brief not ones that you have simply read.Andrea Reid T&L Consultant School of ManagementNot included in the word count
9 Before you start writing, be sure you are clear about… Why you are writing the brief?For who are you writing the brief?What does your audience [the CEO] need to know most about the business issue?What points you will cover/leave out?
10 Your assigned “Contemporary Business Issue” First – The number of the group to which you have been assigned. – 1, 2, 3 etc. Second – the letter of the alphabet you have been assigned within your group E.g. Articles Group 3 - Group member 3A
11 Characteristics of a good Brief Short – always as short as possibleConcise – every word is used as efficiently as possibleClear – simple and to the point: include only what matters to the reader
12 Characteristics of a good Brief Reliable – information must be accurate, sound and dependable: point out any missing informationReadable – use plain language, active voice, white space, subheadings etc.
13 Developing a Business Brief Research your assigned “contemporary business article”Read and re-read materialNote main argument/s or theme/s, the seminal work, key concepts and any supporting materialSummarise what you have read
14 Developing a Business Brief Define any key terms (if necessary)Use your own wordsRevise until you have an accurate summaryGive only the “heart” of the messageomit repetition, detailed explanations
15 The 3 secrets to a good brief Write in the active voice/toneUse short sentences < 16 wordsYour choice of words –for impact andto assist manage word count (brevity)
16 Some tips on Writing a Brief Usually have three main partsThe purpose of the Brief (Introduction)A summary of the facts (Background) and implications for your organisationThe conclusion and/or recommendation(refer to the Task sheet for suggested headings)
17 Writing the Brief – The Introduction OR Purpose of the Brief - A concise statement that:Should explain to the reader why the brief matters (one or two lines.)Can be set out in the form of a statement about what the rest of the brief is about OR as a question which the brief then answers.100 to 150 words MAX
18 Writing the Brief – The Introduction Also should include:A short definition / explanation of the management issueSome background information on the issue – select whichever may be of relevance for your issueWho or What or When or Where or Why100 to 150 words MAX
19 Writing the Brief – The Analysis Overview of the issueDetails the reader needs in order to understand what followsTypically this section adds to the history of the issue and/or other background information contained in the Introduction.
20 Writing the Brief – The Analysis Relevance/key considerationsAn unbiased summary of important facts, considerations, developments and RELEVANCE – everything that needs to be considered before making a decision.Substantiate statements with evidence from your research etc.
21 Questions to help you frame your thinking ... Is the topic and issues raised important for my type of product and industry?Is the topic and issues raised important for my competitors and/or suppliers and/or labour market?Is the topic and issues raised likely to impact on the general environment?Is the topic and issues raised an important management consideration for my organisation?
22 Writing the Brief – Recommendations Recommendation/s should present the best and most sound advice you can offer drawn from the conclusions of your analysis.Make sure they are clear, direct and are substantiated by the facts you have put forward in the analysis section of the Brief
23 Structure of Recommendations Focus on what should be done about the issue.What specific actions or decisions need to be taken?How will they be implemented? Monitored for effect?What about ethical and social responsibility considerations or intercultural/international perspectives?Are the recommendations a logical conclusion of your decision-making process?
24 Key points - writing recommendations Begin with a short statement that leads into the recommendations and persuades the reader to take your recommendations seriouslyList your recommendations using a numbered or bulleted formatUsually present in order of importance or in the order you dealt with them in your analysisUse action/imperative verbs that give the reader an instruction to do something
25 Active recommendations Which one do you prefer?Passive:It is recommended that 400m2 of the vacant space on the ground floor of 6-12 Main Street be set aside for the development of a staff fitness centre.ORActive:Set aside 400m2 of the vacant space on the ground floor of 6-12 Main Street to develop a staff fitness centre.
26 Active Recommendations Model for recommendations: Begin with aProjecting opener: - a concluding statement from your analysis that justifies your course of action and leads into the recommendationsActive verb + what needs to be done...
27 Active recommendations As the analysis clearly shows, organisations that have a highly trained and motivated staff boast a distinct competitive advantage over their competitors, therefore to gain this commercial benefit ABC Ltd should:Establish a routine training program for all new staff that includes ...Provide all staff with five days’ professional development each year specifically targeted at …Develop and ongoing mentoring program for …
28 Remember… Concentrate on the main ideas Do not add ideas (even if you have an abundance of related information)Do not include any personal comments
29 Finally – how is it assessed! Criteria Sheet tell you what is requiredDepth of knowledgeQuality of analysis of informationRecommendationsStructure of the BriefReferencing – APA style
30 Be Concise! CUT OUT ANY WORDS THAT ADD NO VALUE! OR BETTER STILL: Eliminate unnecessary words!You have only 500 words +/- 10% with which to work.Make every word count – choose your words carefully – why use two when one will do?
31 How to be concise. An example Because the ability to communicate effectively plays an important part in an accountant's success on the job, many employers screen prospective accountants for adequate skills in oral and written communication. In fact, one study shows communication skills to be the most important factor in decisions to hire. Employers view the ability to write and speak effectively as even more important than a prospective employee's academic results. (66 words)
32 How to do it … Summarise / breakdown your material: The ability to communicate effectively is important to an accountant's success (11)It is an important factor in deciding whether or not to hire prospective employees (14)Employers’ value communication skills more than academic results (8) (Total 33)
33 Re-assemble the material … Employers value the importance of oral and written communication in accounting, and therefore prefer to hire graduates with effective communication skills. (21 words)
34 Avoid Wordy phrasesDue to the fact he was unemployed, he had to use public transport. [13 words]Because he was unemployed, he had to use public transport. (passive) [10 words]He used public transport because he was unemployed. (active) [8 words]
35 Reduce fat prepositional phrases at the present timebasic essentialsas a matter of factin the event thatin this modern worldin accordance withnowessentialsin factiftodaywith
36 Remove Fillers such as… it, that and there There are three trusses that the beam rests on. The beam rests on three trusses.There were six workers absent from the night shift. Six workers were absent from the night shift.It is obvious that we must meet the deadline. Obviously we must meet the deadline.
37 Use Transitional Expressions Comparison (= Similarity) preferably single word transitions in the same wayjust so … asfurthermorein additionas well asthe samelikeequallybothalsoeach ofsimilarly
38 Use Transitional Expressions Contrast (= Difference) preferably single word transitions on the other handon the contrarywhereasin contrastin spite ofdifferent fromexcept foryetinstead ofconverselyunlikestillbutwhile
39 Use everyday words Long, Heavy, Formal Everyday words wherewithal cognizantgermanenadirremunerationsalientEveryday wordsmeansawarerelevantlow pointpayimportant
40 Avoid Foreign phrases Do not use bona fide in toto milieu modus operandiraison d'êtreUsegenuinealtogethersurroundingsmethodprimary reason, justification
41 Sentences – use short sentences in a Brief All sentences have aSubject → Verb → ObjectWrite in the active NOT passive voiceFor example:Passive: The door was closed by Adam.Active: Adam closed the door.
42 Using References You use citations and references to: support your ideas and arguments using expert facts or ideasacknowledge (to give credit for) facts and ideas you have usedavoid plagiarism.
43 There are two parts to a reference The in text citationLocated in the text of your essayCan be direct quote, paraphrase, summaryIncludes some of the details of your sourceThe reference list entryLocated at the end of your essayIncludes all the details of all source/s usedDifferent to Bibliography
44 Referencing In text - citations References Citation 1 Reference 1
45 Example of Paraphrasing Original (Direct quote)“A new piece of independent study proves for the first time that in-store sampling not only has dramatic sales impact on the day of the sampling event, but also increases sales of established products and line extensions, as well as new products, for many weeks following” (Stanton, 2009, p.1).(46 words)ParaphraseIn-store sampling has now been shown to create increases in sales in all lines of a product – new, existing and extended – not only when sampling takes place but also in the period directly following the event. (Stanton, 2009)(36 words)
46 Example of Summarising There are a range of strategies to use when marketing a product and a slogan is one of the key tools. Miller (2008) believes that slogans need to brief and memorable so that consumers recall the slogan and link it to the product.Miller’s article is on the importance of a slogan in marketing a product. The second sentence is a summary of one of the main ideas in the article.
47 References using APA Style – some points to consider IndentedDirectory of small businesses in Australia. (2003). Melbourne, Vic: McMillan Institute of Telecommunications. (2008). Report on the telecommunications industry (Report No ). Sydney, NSW: Corporate Publishing Limited Latest advertisements. [Video]. (2009, November4). Retrieved from MacDonald, N. (2004, December 7). Working overseas. The Courier Mail. Retrieved from McCulloch, R. & Reid, A. (2010). Starting Your Business Degree: academic skills for success. Brisbane, Qld: Print Australia. Turner, K. Ireland, L. Krenus, B. & Pointon, L. (2008) Essential Academic Skills. Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University PressAlphabetical OrderA range of Scholarly Sources
48 7 point editing guide Is the purpose of the brief clear? Is the language simple, economical and clear?Is everything there that needs to be there?Is there anything there that is not essential to the purpose?
49 7 point editing guideIs the brief easy to read, understand and remember?Do the sections lead logically from one to another?Has the brief been carefully edited and proofread?
50 Remember – If in doubt - questions are the answer You should consultThe assignment task sheetYour lecture notesYour textbookYou can talk to…Your tutor or the unit’s e-tutorYour colleagues in classStudent Learning Advisers – located in B113aConsultation with a 4S tutor
51 ResourcesAustralian National University “Writing a Briefing Note” https://academicskills.anu.edu.au/resources/handouts/writing-briefbriefing-noteWriting for Government – “How to write a Briefing note”
52 Resources QUT cite/write: http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/ QUT kick START / study SMART:Register for workshops and tours:Peer mentors:Studywell resources (Blackboard site):