Business Writing Skills

Background and Context

This training should support the Shared Services team as it designed to help them understand how consistent communication benefits the other business units.

In modern organisations writing skills have moved beyond the ability to create reports or emails. Written communication skills are key elements of improving systems, knowledge sharing and business success.  The ability to think about the reader and how they might interpret the message is a core competence in a knowledge-based organisation.

The sessions will be hands on. Ideally the participants will use existing case studies to edit and create documents.
Proposed Training Course Aims and Objectives

Having completed the training, the participants will:

  • Understand the principles of business writing
  • Practice some elements of business writing
  • Consider their documents from the end user perspective
  • They will appreciate the value of combining technical skills and interpersonal skills
  • They will create a plan to apply the new learning in the workplace
    Proposed Training Course Content
    Elements of effective business writing:

  • Grammar
  • Precise vocabulary choice
  • Sentence structure – reducing complexity and redundancy
  • Brevity, clarity, and simplicity
  • Declarative, Passive and Active style
  • Clarifying your audiences’ needs
  • Impact of context on readers’ expectations
  • Importance of layout and design elements
    Business email:

  • Email as a key communication tool
  • Email miscommunication errors
  • Knowing your reader
  • Conveying bad news tactfully
    The process of writing business documents:

    1. Preparation
  • Establish the purpose- what do you want to reader to know or do
  • Primary or secondary purpose
  • Audience and Context
  • Understanding how the user will use the information
  • Scope and time limits

    1. Research
  • Identify sources
  • Evaluating the data
  • Accurate note-taking

    1. Organization
  • Sequencing the information
  • Chunking and linking
  • Layout and design
  • Tables and visuals

    1. Writing
  • Importance of first draft
  • Illustrating instructions
  • Writing to guide your reader
  • Use Headings to indicate the goals of the actions

    1. Revision
  • Editing mindset
  • Unity and coherence in writing
  • Getting feedback on your document
  • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis

    Training Course Aims and Objectives

  • Clarify & improve the understanding of FMEA.
  • Create an FMEA for an identified area
  • Other ways of looking at things using Creative Thinking Techniques
  • Create an effective action plan
  • Create a Control Plan for sustaining the gains.
    FMEA Course Content

    The following is an outline of the 2 day FMEA (Failure Mode Effective Analysis) facilitated training workshop
    Day One

  • Introductions & Outline the objective
  • Origins of FMEA
  • Why & Who use an FMEA
  • Pre Requisites to FMEA
  • Discuss experiences & challenges with FMEA
  • When to conduct an FMEA
  • FMEA Process Steps (including reacting to the FMEA results)
  • Case Studies
  • Determine the focus of the FMEA
  • Breaking the FMEA down into smaller bodies of work
  • Review the identified focus area
  • Map out the process
  • Define the Rating Scaling System (using data measures provided)
  • Create the FMEA
  • Identify Approaches to prioritise risk
  • Define the action plan with owners & dates
    Day Two

  • Review the list of actions agreed
  • Present an update on the status of actions taken.
  • For outstanding actions, review challenges encountered
  • Verify effectiveness of corrective actions taken
  • Thinking Techniques (e.g. SCAMPER, Anti-Solution)
  • Apply these techniques to some of the challenges encountered.
  • Prioritise the next steps
  • Outline the new action plan
  • Define Owners & Dates to each action
  • Look at ways to ensure sustaining progress
  • Define Control Plans required
  • Problem Solving

    Course Aim

    This two day hands-on workshop aims to teach participants on how to define a problem appropriately then using the optimum tools get to the root cause of the problem and then finally implementing the solution & sustaining the gains.
    Course Objective

  • Explain the DMAIC methodology
  • Key quality tools used within each phase of the DMAIC methodology
  • Hands-on practical exercises on how to work through the tools & their application to a specific problem.
    Programme Outline
    Day One

  • Introductions & Objectives of session
  • Team Dynamics – How to work as a team
  • Managing Change
  • Introduction to DMAIC Methodology
  • Outline key quality tools for each phase of DMAIC
    Day Two

  • Outline key quality tools for each phase of DMAIC
  • Simulate the application of Quality Tools through DMAIC Methodology (Simulation Exercise scenario can be agreed in advance either applying to a work related area or a service/ manufacturing related scenario.)
  • Report out on Simulation Exercise
  • Discuss lessons learnt
  • Next Steps
  • Six Sigma: Green Belt

    Course Aim:

    The aim of this course is to equip employees with the knowledge and skills of how and when to use the six sigma methodology and the appropriate tools within each phase of this framework (DMAIC).  This course will also address the soft skills around team dynamics, people management and managing change which are essential in the delivery of any improvement to a process.  Other technical skills around data management, data analysis and project management will also be elements of the training which will assist the participants in analysing their problems while ensuring to meet the deliverables of their projects within budget and within the timescale allocated.

    The students will be given the opportunity to work on their own projects and experiment with some of the tools and techniques being taught throughout the course.
    Course Objective:

    Following the successful completion of the course, delegates will have acquired knowledge and developed skills and techniques which will give them the ability to deliver a six sigma project at green belt level. On completion of this course graduates will:

  • have a better understanding and appreciation of Lean Six Sigma
  • have an understanding of the methodology used and the purpose of its structure
  • understand the tools used in the Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control phases
  • understand the skills required to drive change into a business
  • have the ability to project manage a project to completion while meeting the business deliverables
  • be able to conduct and manage effective meetings, take clear and concise minutes of meetings
  • understand how to see things from the organisation’s viewpoint in the context of a more integrated public service
  • know how to influence others
  • understand group dynamics, teamwork and co-operation
  • learn how to motivate people
  • learn how to quantify a problem and explain the benefits both in business and financial terms
  • learn and practice some tools to assist you with problem solving through project work or simulation exercises
  • understand how to represent and interpret data
  • learn new creative thinking techniques
  • have a clearer understanding of the voice of the customer and then identify waste within a process
  • have the ability to know when and how to use the seven quality tools for problem solving
    Course Programme Outline

    Day Module Topic
    1 Define Introductory session (objectives, outline and outcomes)·        Outline expectations of the course

    ·        Overview of Lean Six Sigma

    ·        Introduction of the Six Sigma methodology

    ·        Understand & Identify variation and waste

    ·        Creation of a Project charter ( problem statement, business case, metrics, stakeholders, project plan)

    ·        Process Mapping

    ·        Awareness around managing change

    ·        Presentation & feedback given on projects selected


    2 Measure How to identify the appropriate data in order to quantify the problem·        Understanding customer requirements through VoC, SIPOC and CTQ tools

    ·         Introduce the concept of team dynamics and tools

    ·         Graphical data analysis

    ·         Statistical analysis of a process through process capability, control and MSA (Measurement System Analysis)

    ·         Presentation and feedback given on projects selected


    3 Analyse Techniques in which to analysis the problems within the current process·    Lean Tools (waste, value add versus non value add activities)

    ·    Process Mapping Analysis

    ·    Cause & Effect Analysis

    ·    Cause Screening

    ·    Root Cause Analysis

    ·    Risk Assessment using Failure Mode Effective Analysis (FMEA)

    ·    Presentation of all projects status




    4 Improve How to select and implement an appropriate improved process solution·        Creative thinking techniques

    ·        Evaluation of a possible solutions through Force Field Analysis Tool

    ·        Action Planning

    ·        Understand how to manage change

    ·        Presentation of all projects status


    5 Control How to sustain the gains once implemented·        Explain how to create standardisation of the new process

    ·        Provide process control plans

    ·        The types of ongoing process monitoring required

    ·        Presentation of all projects status

    ·        Hand off of your project back to the business owners


      Final Presentation Open Day for participants to present their completed project to a panel, their stakeholders and other participants.·        Written & Oral Presentation of the completed project. (financially validated & signed off)

    ·        Sharing of best practices and learning’s

    ·        Answer some key questions about your project and six sigma tools used

    ·        Formal Certification



    Six Sigma: Yellow Belt

    Course Aim

    This two day hands-on seminar aims to empower participants on understanding what value add is and how they can identify waste in their day-to-day processes with their organisation.  This seminar is very practical and will continually reference practical case studies to allow you see the benefits Lean Six Sigma can bring to your organisation.

    Course Objective

  • What is Lean Six Sigma and how it can apply to the office environment
  • Practical application of the tools within the public sector
  • Means of identifying value in a process
  • Hands-on practical exercises on how to identify what value is in the process and then identify what wastes are in the process and trouble shoot how to reduce or eliminate the waste.

    Programme Outline

    Day One

  • Introductions
  • Overview of Lean Six Sigma
  • Case Studies in Public Sector
  • How to work as a team
  • Managing Change
  • Introduction to DMAIC Methodology

    Day Two

  • Introduce the Key Quality Tools
  • Simulate the application of Quality Tools through DMAIC Methodology
  • Report out on Simulation Exercise
  • Discuss lessons learnt
  • Next Steps

    Introduction to Six Sigma


    This one day aims to enlighten participants add real value to their organisation.  This seminar is very practical and will continually reference practical case studies to allow you see the benefits Six Sigma can bring to your organisation.

    Learning Objectives

  • Why business process improvements are so important in these challenging times and not just for manufacturing environments.
  • History & benefits of Six Sigma
  • Practical application of the 7 quality tools.
  • How to implement a continuous improvement programme into your organisation and ensure success.
  • Being aware of the known pitfalls & challenges which occur during a continuous improvement programme.
    Programme Outline

  • What is Six Sigma
  • History of Six Sigma
  • Case Studies in Six Sigma
  • Benefits of Six Sigma Programme
  • Introduction to the framework (DMAIC)
  • Overview & benefits of the 7 Quality Tools
  • How to implement Six Sigma in your organisation
  • Known Pitfalls & Challenges
  • How to Sustain the Gains
  • Next Steps
  • Hoshin Planning

    This workshop based training course will expose participants to the value of having a consistent means of developing the business strategy using the Lean tool called Hoshin Kanri.

    Course Aim

    This three day hands-on workshop aims to empower participants on understanding what Hoshin Planning Strategic Planning tool can do for an organisation.  This programme is very practical and will continually reference practical case studies to allow you see the benefits Hoshin Planning can bring to an organisation.  The third day will be focused on training the attendees to be able to deliver this programme internally within the business.

    Programme Outline

    Day One

  • Introductions & Objectives of session
  • Overview of Hoshin Planning
  • What is Hoshin Planning
  • Where does it come from
  • Benefits to Organisations
  • Walk through the template
  • How to use the tool to identify LSS opportunities
  • Case Studies
  • Walk through the phases for the creation of a Hoshin Plan
    Day Two

  • Complete the Practical Application
  • Discuss Lessons Learnt & any insights
  • Governance Process
  • Cascading the information through the organisation
  • Application across all departments
  • How to make this part of day-to-day management
  • Review Frequency of Hoshin Plan
  • Discuss Next Steps
    Day Three – Train the Trainer

  • How to run a Hoshin Planning Session
  • Pre-work required
  • Who should be involved
  • How to cascade the technique across the organisation
  • Running the population of the template
  • Write up of the content