Writing simple Documents.

| August 26, 2015

Writing simple Documents.

General procedures for writing
Adept Owl Education Company requires all staff to comply with the following organisational requirements:
•    templates are to be used for document types that are created frequently, both to save time and to maintain clarity and consistency
•    documents are to be created in line with the Adept Owl Education Company Style Guide
•    correct procedures for design, approval, distribution, and storage of documents are followed where required.
Document/communication types
There are several standard types of documents and communications used by Adept Owl in the course of day-to-day business that staff will be required to produce:
•    letters
•    memoranda
•    emails
•    meeting agendas
•    meeting minutes.
Writing documents
The person responsible for making and distributing the document is generally the person who is doing the communicating, e.g. if you need to send a letter, you are the person who writes the letter. See the following table for who is responsible for creating the most common types of documents used by Adept Owl.
Document    Staff member responsible    Special procedures
Letter    Sender     –
Memoranda    Managers only, or staff with managerial approval    In most cases, managers will be the ones sending memos. On occasion, other staff members may need to send internal memos. In those cases, a manager must approve and countersign the memo before it is distributed.
Email    All staff    –
Meeting agenda    Meeting Chair    Meeting Chair is to email all required attendees prior to the meeting, inviting them to attend and requesting agenda items.
Meeting Chair is to make note of replies from those unable to attend the meeting so as to compile the apologies.
Meeting minutes    Meeting
Minute-taker    The Meeting Minute-Taker is to use the agenda provided by the Meeting Chair to write up the minutes.
Distributing documents
The distribution of documents is also managed by the person responsible for the writing of the document. See the following table for who is responsible for distributing the most common types of documents used by Adept Owl.
Document    Staff member responsible    Special procedures
Letter    Sender    Letters are to be enveloped and addressed, then placed in the mail box for the Office Administrator to arrange postage.
Memoranda    Managers only, or staff with managerial approval    Managers are to print the finished memo and give it to the Office Administrator, who will photocopy the memo and place it in the required noticeboards and pigeon holes.
Email    All staff    Staff members are advised to use the ‘Reply’, ‘Reply All’, ‘Cc’ and ‘Bcc’ functions with care and attention where appropriate.
Meeting agenda    Meeting Chair    Meeting Chair is to email the agenda to all attendees preferably a week before the meeting. They are to immediately double check that the Minute-taker received the agenda.
On the day of the meeting, the Chair is to print the agenda make enough photocopies for all attendees.
Meeting minutes    Meeting Minute-taker    The Minute-taker is to email the completed minutes as an attachment to all meeting attendees, with a link to the file’s location on the server.
Document storage
All files should be saved to the shared drive to ensure they are backed up. No files should be saved only to the ‘C:’ drive on personal computers. Files should be saved using the document name and the date. For example, a meeting agenda for a meeting on 1 March 2012 would be saved as ‘Meeting Agenda 01032012’. See the following table for who is responsible for naming and saving documents used by Adept Owl.
Document    Staff member responsible    Special procedures
Letter    Sender    Electronic copies of all letters sent should be saved on the server in the appropriate folder.
A copy must be made of letters once they are signed and before they are sent. The copy should display the words ‘copy’ and ‘sent’ in the top right-hand corner, preferably by way of an ink stamp.
Memoranda    Managers only, or staff with managerial approval    All memos should be filed on the server in the Internal Memoranda folder. The file name should also include the surname of the manager, e.g. ‘MemoMcKenzie01032012’
Email    All staff    Staff should archive old emails when advised by their email software.
Meeting agenda    Meeting Chair    All agendas should be filed on the server in the Meeting Agendas folder. The file name should also include the surname of the meeting’s chair, e.g. ‘MemoCallis01032012’
Meeting minutes    Meeting
Minute-taker    All minutes should be filed on the server in the Meeting Minutes folder. The file name should also include the surname of the meeting’s chair, e.g. ‘MemoRezek01032012’
Special document procedures
Letters
When to use:    Letters should be used for all written communications to external organisations or clients, in particular, communications with government departments.
Who can use:    All staff may be required to write letters in the course of their duties.
Only general managers and the Chief Executive can sign letters addressed to government department staff.
Format to use:    Letters should always be in the form of the attached letter template.
Other rules:    A copy must be made of letters once they are signed, and before they are sent. The copy should display the words ‘copy’ and ‘sent’ in the top, right-hand corner, preferably by way of an ink stamp.

Memoranda
When to use:        Memoranda must only be used for internal correspondence.
Who can use:    Generally, only managers are permitted to send internal memoranda. In some cases, staff can prepare and send internal memoranda.
In those cases, staff members are required to first seek managerial approval for the memo, and it must be countersigned by a manager before it is distributed.
Format to use:    Memoranda should be in the form of the attached memorandum template.

Email
When to use:    Email can be used for a variety of internal and external correspondence.
Care and attention must be made before sending emails that it is the most appropriate form of communication. Email can confuse some kinds of messages, while saving time and energy for others. Consider, for example, would it be more appropriate to be written formally by letter? Would a meeting be more appropriate?
Who can use:    All staff can and should make use of email.
Format to use:    Emails, for both internal and external recipients, should be in the form of the attached email template.
Other rules:    The company signature must appear on all emails.
When attaching files to emails, be considerate to your recipient:
•    only attach files when necessary
•    keep files sizes low – your recipient will not appreciate their inbox being filled to capacity
•    make sure you mention any attachments in the body of the   email, explaining what it is, why you have attached it and what you would like/require the recipient to do with it.
Conform to standards of etiquette in all aspects of email use by ensuring:
•    courteous tone and use of appropriate greetings, etc. (avoid sarcasm and similar styles of humour that could be misinterpreted at all costs)
•     appropriate language and relevant content
•    timeliness in replying to email received, e.g. do not wait too   long before replying – email is an instant communication; senders expect prompt responses.

Meeting agendas
When to use:        Agendas should be written and distributed prior to all meetings.
Who can use:        Agendas should be written by the Chair of the meeting, incorporating input from all people they are inviting to attend.
All people invited to attend the meeting should receive a copy of the agenda prior to the meeting, even those invited who are unable to attend.
Format to use:         Meeting agendas, for both internal and external recipients, should be in the form of the attached meeting agendas template.
Other rules:         Agenda items should be clearly itemised.
Ensure that action having arisen since the previous meeting is incorporated in the agenda, and is not left to be brought up as other business.
Ensure time has been scheduled to allow for other business to be raised.
Meeting minutes
When to use:         Meeting minutes should be drafted during the meeting, written and fully typed and distributed within 24 hours of the meeting’s conclusion.
Who can use:         Meeting minutes should be written by the assigned Minute-taker.
All people invited to attend the meeting should receive a copy of the minutes after the meeting, even those invited who are unable to attend.
Format to use:         Meeting minutes, for both internal and external recipients, should be in the form of the attached meeting minutes template.
Other rules:    Meeting minutes should be based on the meeting agenda.

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