Environmental Protection Agency

Maximizing Efficiency in Writing Reports & Time Utilization

For many departments, report writing is by far the major time utilization in many government positions. Committee and other reports often comprise multi-discipinary inputs, thus often require multiple rounds of re-editing by all the participants to finalize, which can be very inefficient and time consuming. I propose that the discipline with the greatest input to the meetings write all the reports and the participants directly send their contributions at the meeting as text to the report writer, rather than the writer trying to summarize what they thought they heard at the meeting. Participants correcting meeting reports is a major consumer of futile time use and the reason for multiple rounds of editing. For each meeting type, one recorder should write the committee meeting minutes so that their is high efficiency in the report writing, plus consistency from meeting to meeting. Rotating the duty of meeting report writing is very inefficient because their is a learning period for each. The report writer should be trained in the area of the discipline which dominates the committee meeting, thus much easier to take notes and efficiently transfer that knowledge to the written record. For example, if a committee meeting is composed of 60% chemisty input, 30% statistics input and 10% toxicology input, then the chemistry personell should write the meeeting report with direct input from the other disciplines. Sending the report writer to report writing training would further maximize the committe report output & quality. This method of meeting report writing has worked very well in industry, where profits and maximizing time efficiency is vital. The reports were produced much more efficiently and with the participants sending their contribution to the writer & the accuracy of the reports is maximized, also very important. A committee report template is recommended, so that the reports are very structured and contributions can be merely pasted into a standardized format.

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Idea No. 6211