Updated December 2022
Writing reports as much a time-honored year-end activity as sipping egg nog lattes. Here's a strategy make writing those missives easier and faster: The Position-Rationale-Proof Strategy©.
The PRP helps us think through our ideas in the context of what we want to say and what our audience might need/want to hear.
How to write a better report
Using the PRP is easy. I often sketch the table out on a whiteboard or piece of paper and complete the organizer by hand. This slows down my brain just enough to think a little more carefully about what I want to include. And there's the old 'constraints promoting creativity' thing where a limited amount of space forces my brain to focus more keenly.
After completing the top portion, I work across from the POSITION to the rationale. For each reason "why", I add examples or evidence to strengthen each point, often referring to the GOALS to make sure I'm serving the stated purpose.
At this point, you can hand the organizer off to someone for review or comment. This often helps hone the details and verify that our logic makes sense.
To draft, work across from rationale to proof, repeating until you've worked through all the points. Boom! A fast draft ready for revision.
Check out other assets in our report-writing series