To: Operations and Service Mgt Students
From: Barry Cross
Date: November 21, 2012
Memorandums are a frequently used tool for written communications in business. In this course, we will hone your technique in memo-writing with respect to audience, content, and delivery.
Memos are to be kept to a single page, 10 to 12pt font, with a minimum 1-inch margin. Any necessary charts or analysis can be attached as Exhibits, but your message (pitch) must be delivered in one page. You will be graded on how well that one page (plus Exhibits) presents your case. With this in mind,
• Avoid repeating the facts in a case or discussion • Avoid the use of bullets except for lists or appropriate point-form material. The majority of the memo should be in paragraph form. • Stick to the body of your ideas (don’t drift) • You have a limited amount of time to catch your recipients attention – use it wisely • State the problems or issues, discuss the alternatives, present your analysis and solution(s), implementation details and summarize • Your memo may be circulated to other parties in the “corporation” without your consent; politics, salesmanship and ‘spin’ are important. • Your memo may be filed for years by the corporation, or trashed. • When outlining a plan or recommendation, consider who will execute the plan, how long will it take (timeline; the ‘when’), funds required, if any, and why your plan is appropriate. • Submit all memos on paper, not electronically.
Exhibits following highlight some further guidelines.
I suggest you use a rough, hand-written outline to frame your thoughts and arguments. Follow this up with your first written draft (working copy), then the final work.
Exhibit 1 - Common Faults
Cover page – Memos never have cover pages; for EMBA / AMBA, Program Cover pages are permitted
Recommendations should be crystal clear – don’t leave this up to interpretation. Recommendations should be based only on material available through the case, i.e., in the case or available to the writer at the time, i.e., available in the library, dated prior to the date of the case.
Implementation must be addressed where relevant.
Time line can be verbal or graphic, but a GANTT is recommended.
Roles or persons for implementation plan not specified or indicated.
Conclusions, as implementation, may describe further investigations that may be needed to accommodate your recommendations.
Exhibits not relevant or trivial, not referenced properly in memo, such as not in numerical sequence or too many which would require the reader to spend more time on the document than necessary.
Assumptions not specified as assumptions, assumptions made out as facts.
Audience — Memo not written for the intended audience.
Analytic errors — Numbers incorrectly taken from case or errors in analysis including errors replicating errors in analysis in the case.
Writing style—the point could have been made with fewer words or sentences.
Grammar wrong tense —spelling or typos [interrupt the reader’s thought process].
Too much text—use 12 point or greater in non-proportional type (courier) or 10 point or greater in proportional type (times).
Page limit— Don’t exceed the single page limit. Only the first page will be read and graded, other than exhibits.
EXHIBIT 2 LIST OF COMMON DECISION FACTORS
|QUANTITATIVE |QUALITATIVE |
|Profit |competitive advantage |
|Cost |customer satisfaction |
|return on investment…