Principles of Managing Information

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Business and Administration
Unit three: Principles of managing information and
producing documents

Session 3 Handout //
Fitness for purpose

Getting your documents right

Information in documents can make a significant contribution to the effectiveness and efficiency of a business. Conversely, if documents are incorrect in some way, this can have an adverse effect on a business. For this reason it's important to get things right. One way to increase the likelihood that the right documents are produced is to apply the idea of fitness for purpose. Ensuring standards When producing documents the challenge is to ensure that each one is fit for purpose. There are two broad ways that a business can increase the likelihood that a document is fit-for-purpose. These are: Have a format or template and stick to it Agree in advance with everyone involved what the document should contain. In both cases there should be clarity. Once the purpose of the document is clear then key aspects of the report – such as content, layout, quality standards and deadlines – can be agreed. Some types of documents benefit more from having a format than others, such as a meeting report. If you know precisely the purpose of a document and the way it should be structured then there is a much higher likelihood that the finished document will be fit-for-purpose. Different documents, different purposes There are many different types of documents that a business can use. The correct document to be used will be determined by the purpose of the document and the person receiving it. It's important to remember that there is no single document that can be used for all written communication. Instead much will depend on what the user needs.

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