The more effective and efficient your technical report writing process, the better your productivity and profitability. Yet, in the rush to meet deadlines and keep clients satisfied, the idea of evaluating the process from start to finish probably takes a back seat.
But taking a few minutes to assess your report writing process can pay big dividends, and Quire just made it easy! Take this brief quiz for a window into the effectiveness of your report writing process, and then come back to the blog for tips on improvement opportunities.
Take the survey below, or click the button to open up a new tab for the survey.
Improving Your Report Writing Effectiveness
Does your team have a system that automatically notifies users when their part of the report writing process is ready for their attention?
Writing reports involves multiple people. Given your tight deadlines, you want to pass the baton to the next person immediately, with no wasted effort—yet many companies rely on the slow, error-prone process of sending emails to notify the next person up to bat (or worse, they do nothing at all!). Besides wasting your team’s time, there’s a good chance the email will get lost in the inbox deluge.
Quire eliminates those problems by generating automated notifications when a Report is ready for the next stakeholder, and pins that Report to their workspace to create an organized to-do list.
Can your report contributors add photos and/or content to the report directly from the field via their phone or tablet?
During a site visit, your team gathers a lot of salient data and takes hundreds of photos. Chances are they’re conducting multiple site visits per day, generating an overwhelming volume of content and images that need to move from their phone or tablet to several different reports. If you use Microsoft Word, it can take as many as six steps to get that accomplished!
Instead, your team could be using the Quire Mobile App right on site to take notes, caption photos, and upload an entire gallery of images and relevant data from a mobile device. The App then pushes this upload to the correct report along with meta data that can show where you were standing when the photo was taken. Users can even populate repetitive report data using Quire’s Report Tag functionality. It’s fast, efficient, and avoids the confusion that can occur with multiple site visits on the same day.
Does your company have a way to measure the precise number of hours spent at each phase of your report writing process?
Knowing how much time your team spends on each report writing step allows you to identify bottlenecks, spot trends, and understand where the process is breaking down, causing delays, or chewing up too much time. But time cards and other manual approaches are labor-intensive and anecdotal, and they don’t let you roll up the data to analyze trends.
The Quire Report Writing Platform solves this dilemma by automatically and precisely tracking the active editing time for each Report—by User, by Report Section, by Report Status, and by date. It’s a real eye-opener and a more effective way to gain insights on how and where to improve your process.
If you have multiple templates in a single service line, is your company able to determine which template is the most efficient and/or profitable?
When you produce a large volume of a particular report type, using templates can save a lot of time. And often, companies use several versions of the same template for a single service line. But templates can vary in efficiency, user-friendliness, and profitability.
The Quire Report Writing Platform includes powerful Data Analytics that deliver actionable information about your Templates, enabling you to track and compare the average time spent editing Reports cloned from each. Using those metrics, you can make informed decisions about how to improve your report writing process to boost efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Plus, you can measure the effectiveness of the changes you make to determine if they achieved the results you were aiming for.
How does your team populate data purchased from third parties into your report?
For some report types, populating the report with data purchased from a third party is a major pain point. Without an automated mechanism, report writing can turn into a data entry exercise, causing your team to spend more time on mechanics and less time thinking critically about content.
Quire has API integrations with several third-party vendors where our Clients obtain research data, making it easy to auto-populate that data into Quire Reports. Companies that use Quire find their teams spend less time entering and formatting data and more time on critical thinking.
Does your company have a team member dedicated to ensuring your formatting, branding, and layout are consistent?
Many consulting firms and other companies that write technical reports have an administrative team member do a final quality control check on the document, ensuring it follows the customer’s brand guidelines and formatting requirements. But it’s not the best use of their time, and it introduces the risk of errors and oversights.
Quire automates the process of applying branding and formatting, eliminating the need for manual QC checks and freeing your team to focus on tasks that truly need human intervention. During each Client’s onboarding to the Quire platform, we custom-code the software with their branding and formatting requirements—automating their application and ensuring consistency across every Report.
What percent of your team’s total report editing time (including writing, reviewing, revising, and administrative processes) is spent on formatting, branding, layout, and assembly of the final report deliverable?
Knowing this answer is critical to understanding your report writing process from end to end. It gives you visibility into the efficiency and profitability of the process and identifies time wasters that don’t add value. After all, any time spent on formatting, branding, layout, or assembly is not time well spent. That’s especially true for the subject matter experts you pay to develop thoughtful, accurate technical content—not to handle report mechanics.
With a report writing software platform like Quire, the tasks of branding, layout, and assembly are fully automated, giving your team back significant time for work that actually adds value for your customers and your business.
Who on your team is responsible for assembling the report document?
The typical technical report is made up of numerous documents, appendices, and photos. If you’re assigning an individual to assemble all those components—not just once, but each time a revision happens—you’re wasting time on mechanics and reducing the project’s profitability, even if you tap an administrative employee at a lower billing rate.
Because the Quire Report Writing Software automates report assembly, it keeps your team focused on value-add work, boosts their productivity, and improves your report writing profitability. Quire’s one-click PDF generation creates report deliverables in seconds. And when your customer comes back with comments or revisions, you’ll spend a fraction of the time completing those changes!
Can your current process enforce your writers to use your approved template as opposed to overwriting an old report?
When report writers overwrite previous reports to save time, there’s a risk they might leave behind old material or fail to follow the most current branding and formatting requirements.
In reality, using an approved template can save as much time as overwriting an old report, if not more, while eliminating the risk of carrying over old material or outdated branding and formatting. That’s why Quire allows you to require the use of an approved template as part of your workflow. This ensures pinpoint accuracy in your report writing process.
Does your Company currently have a process for managing and summarizing relevant information across a Portfolio of Reports?
Your company likely has multiple projects occurring simultaneously, possibly with multiple sites or reports each. As a senior reviewer or executive, it can be difficult to juggle multiple Projects, Reports, and Clients without a bird’s eye view.
Quire’s Portfolio Tool can be used to effortlessly track all of the Reports associated with one site or Project. It’s not just for large project portfolios either. Quire Clients use Portfolios as a way to manage internal project tracking and view Client Summary Tables, which show them a high-level view of their Client Portfolio. Best of all, the Portfolio view is fully customizable, so you can tailor it to your exact needs (and your team’s too).
Thanks to Quire’s Portfolio view, you’ll enjoy a newfound efficiency in entering critical data, tracking report statuses, and exporting essential information.
We hope this quiz provided a few insights into your current report writing process—and pointed out practical ideas for improving it! If you’re ready to turn those ideas into action, schedule a demo of the Quire Report Writing Software Platform.