Better Writing: Next Steps?
I've been asked to end with a few thoughts on what steps you, as a project manager, should be taking to improve your own writing skills and promote better written communication within your organization. Irresponsibly, I may have run out of time. But it doesn't really matter because what I have to say, though heart-felt, is very brief. And, actually, I've already said most of it in my introduction.
In my experience, how organizations communicate trickles down from the top. If senior management cares about effective communication, so does middle management, and so on down the ladder. So your "next steps" are to start believing (if you don't already) that good writing really matters. The watchword is: "Lead by example". And, whenever you are writing, always remember who your reader is and what result you are hoping to achieve.
Oh yes, and if you hunt high and low, you might even find an informative yet entertaining book on the subject, which you could keep on your desk for easy reference.
To conclude, let me give you "The Indian Wood Carver Analogy":
There was once an old Indian craftsman who carved the most beautiful elephants. When asked how he did it, he'd reply: "It's easy. I just cut away all the wood that doesn't look like an elephant."
Effective writing is similar. To create a masterpiece, bear in mind who your reader is and all you have to do is cut away everything that will not help you achieve the result you want.