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Collaborative project 4

There is much detail here: read, print, highlight, reread carefully!

You three work for a technical communication consulting firm called Mid-Georgia Writing Associates, and you are tasked with composing three reports for three separate local businesses. All three reports are to be delivered in one single package (PDF form) to the MGW president, Anya Mishkin (in D2L), for her to deliver to the different businesses requesting the reports. 

The specific reports are below, but note these project requirements before you concern yourself with the actual topics:

  • Christina McDaniel is the project leader responsible for organizing and handling the work-flow communications, but all team members should share the workload equally.

  • You must have at least two meetings, one early in the week and one later (Friday absolute latest, Thursday more ideally). How you do these meetings is up to you: in person, by Hangouts or Skype, or three-way telephone call, but do let me know when they are scheduled and how you plan to conduct them (I will not attend, however).

  • All three reports must be on company letterhead and have consistent formatting and layout.

  • Each report must be longer than a single page but no longer than two pages.

  • Include a brief transmittal memo addressed to Anya Mishkin indicating what the larger packet contains (i.e. the three reports). See Technical Communication pp. 331-32 and/or Handbook of Technical Writing pp. 114-15 for more on transmittals.

  • All team members must review all three reports and give constructive feedback at least once in the revision stage (after first draft is complete) and at least once in the final editing stage (i.e. on Saturday or Sunday, most likely).

  • You should construct a planning sheet spelling out all components of the project with deadlines and work assignments as we did for Collaborative project 3.  You can use my document as a template, or you can use some other format entirely, but do be sure that it accounts for all phases of the project and gives specific deadlines. I would think this sheet would be the responsibility of the project leader, but all three of you can certainly contribute or offer suggestions.

  • I have created a new Google Docs folder for this project and given you all editing privileges. You do not have to use this project folder, though you should avoid having dozens of email exchanges throughout the week.  If you decide to communicate primarily through email, limit your communications to a reasonable number of messages and in defined time ranges (for submission of drafts, for revision suggestions and revised drafts, and for final editing). 

  • You are doing this project yourselves, but you can always use me as a resource!  I will be happy to help as much as you'd like me to.

  • Each of you should submit identical final products (transmittal memo and all three reports) in a single PDF document to the Collaborative Project 4 dropbox in D2L.



Report assignments (adapted from exercises in the tenth edition of Writing That Works, pp. 380-81):

Report 1: The director of Macon General Hospital, Cynthia Thompson, asks us to compose a progress report outlining the current status of the annual reappointment of committees, a larger project we have been working on for several weeks and which will conclude by New Year's. Use the facts below to write the report:

  • A total of ten committees must be staffed.
  • The chief of staff has telephoned each person selected to chair a committee, and you have sent each of them a follow-up letter of thanks from the chief.
  • You have written letters to all physicians who are currently on committees but are not being reappointed, informing them of the fact.
  • You have written letters to all physicians being asked to serve on committees.
  • You expect to receive replies from those physicians declining the appointment by the 15th of next month.
  • Once committee assignments have been completed, you will type the membership lists of all committees and distribute them to the complete medical staff.

Report 2: The CEO of of Macon Emergency Generators, Inc., Joshua J. Gray, has commissioned us to inspect their auxiliary power units in hospitals in five cities, and we need to convey the findings of that inspection tour in a trip report. One of our team members conducted the inspections by visiting the following hospitals and cities:

  • November 6: Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Orlando
  • November 7: Methodist-Presbyterian Hospital in Birmingham
  • November 8: St. Mark's Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge
  • November 9: Central Memorial Hospital in Memphis
  • November 10: Tommy Hanson Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

You found that each installation was properly done. With the cooperation of the administrators, you switched each hospital to auxiliary power for a one-hour trial run. All went well. You held a brief training session for the maintenance staff at each hospital, teaching them how to start the engine and how to regulate its speed to produce 220 volts of electricity from the generator at 60 hertz. You want to commend Macon Generators' sales staff and field personnel for creating a positive image of the company in the minds of all five customers you visited.

Report 3: Marcia McGillicutty, the Human Resources manager of a large online retailer named the Macon Online Emporium, requests an investigative report for the scenario that follows (see Handbook of Technical Writing , pp. 290-92). Worker's compensation allows employees who are injured on the job to receive benefits such as medical expenses and lost wages, depending on when the injury happened, how the injury happened, and the severity of the injury. Most Macon Online Emporium workers spend their days packing books, DVDs, and other products into mailing boxes, then lifting the boxes and putting them onto carts and pulling the carts to the mailing rooms. Ms. McGillicutty has asked us for an investigative end-of-the-year report detailing the most common type of employee injury and other yearly information. Our research has uncovered the following:

  • Back injuries are the most common, occurring mostly in the warehouse.
  • In 2016-2017, 956 injuries occurred.
  • The total cost of the injuries was $3.5 million.
  • There is still a cost of $8.2 million for all open claims.
  • This information reflects a significant loss in productivity.
Open this letter with a brief introductory summary that details the information you were seeking, why the investigation was necessary, and who requested it. In the body of the letter, describe your findings and suggest possible recommendations based on your findings (you will have to think a little on this one, and perhaps include quick research on ways to limit back injuries on the job!).

Use me as a resource to help with any part of this project! Email me if you have quick questions or to set up a meeting or phone call if needed.

Each of you, separately, submit the finished product, comprised of transmittal memo and all three reports in a single PDF, to the Collaborative project 4 dropbox in D2L.