(SIDENOTE: Hello my regular subscribers and to any new readers who may stumble across this post. I’m posting this work I did at my college, up on my website / blog, in order to use it as a reference piece for a writing sample needed for a work-opportunity! Thank you for your understanding, and I will be posting up my next creative piece on April 20, 2018)!
My 3×3 Business Communication Writing Assignment
(From My BUSAD 106 Class at Glendale Community College, CA)
For this writing task, you’ll need to respond to the following scenario:
Who are you?
You work as department head in the information technology (IT) department at First Federal Bank. Part of your job is to conduct an ongoing assessment of risk for the institution and to recommend proper controls. Banking systems should be able to quickly collect and edit information, summarize results, and promptly correct any errors. You have identified a possible threat to “timeliness” of information.
You have received reports from tellers that customers have been complaining more often lately of bounced checks. They have been bringing in their checkbook ledgers and bank statements, and there have been a consistent and steady stream of complaints about deposits made between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. that do not seem to post to accounts by the end of the business day.
You have conducted an examination and feel befuddled since you just installed a new system that advertised itself as quick, accurate, and reliable. This is terrible! The system cost a lot of money and you fought hard for it. You researched and recommended this system and pushed for it because it had so many internal controls and neat features for the bank and its tellers. It has decreased time by five minutes to complete closing procedures and it runs an auto-save every hour, which saves an additional step for the tellers. You have spent a lot of time training the staff and have put up with a lot of teasing about the aches and pains of new technology. You feel badly for the new tellers, many of whom are older, because the bank has hired more part-timers with experience; but you feel confident that once the tellers get used to this system they will really like it.
“Don’t sweat it,” says Whitney, your co-worker. “It’s not the bank’s fault about the bounced checks. You know people–they complain all the time. You see our new ad campaign, ‘Play Nice?’ Well, where do you think that came from? People just like to blame their mistakes on the bank and get ugly with us.”
You passed it off as that until yesterday when your own check bounced. You take advantage of the bank policy of no fees for bounced checks for employees, and then you get into gear!
What’s happening today?
You conduct an “information flow audit” and then a “technology audit.” You discover that many of the tellers have been running the 2 p.m. reconciliation procedures in the incorrect order.
Instead of the bank tellers running “close, register, consolidate/merge”, and then “post”, many tellers have been running “close, register, post”, ending with “consolidate/merge”. The problem is, once the teller hits the post button, there is nothing to consolidate and merge! You also discover that the prompt screen for consolidate/merge has not been consistently appearing and that the tellers assumed that, because the system did not ask them to deal with it, the system was doing it automatically–especially since it does so many other things automatically!
Some of the more experienced tellers have said that on the rare occasion when the screen did appear, they couldn’t see the icon very well and admitted that it’s possible they didn’t place the cursor squarely on the icon when they clicked the mouse.
You take this issue to your boss, Terry Woodall, who is horrified and instructs you to “get on it right away.” You get your IT team on the problem and fix the system by (1) insuring the correct prompt screen appears and by (2) enlarging the consolidate/merge icon and placing it in a more prominent area of the screen.
What do you need to do?
You tell your boss you have fixed the technical problem. She asks that you, as department head of IT, communicate to the tellers how IT has fixed the problem and what the tellers need to do. This information will be posted in the break room and also be circulated immediately to the tellers. Craft the 3×3 of the document.
- Being that my IT team, and me, have accurately fixed the two main issues with the accounting-software, we can better inform the tellers on what they should do next.
- The employees aren’t effectively using the accounting-related software, and thus, have been inputting the customer checks incorrectly (at the 2 p.m. interval).
- The reason being, the icon for consolidate/merge was not readily accessible during the process of the tellers inputting the financial information. And also, the correct prompt screen never came after the register window to consolidate/merge. (And even when it did notify the employee, the icon was too small and placed in an inconvenient place on the window.
- The tellers are both old and young employees, so this is definitely not a generational issue. If anything, there is a disconnect between allthe employees on how to better use the accounting-software.
- Due to the lack of efficiency in the accounting-software itself, many employees who are posting the 2 p.m. reconciliations aren’t correctly inputting the customer checks.
- The employees will be somewhat disgruntled at the IT team, being that this issue had gone unnoticed for some-time now.
- After the initial anger, some of the more adaptable employees will be ready to learn how to use the updated accounting-software.
- The other half of the employees, who are still some angry, might give some push-back on the updated accounting-software.
- Thus, the IT team and me will have to ensure proper training for each individual teller. This very likely means we will need to run modules / training sessions with each teller.
- For the tellers who are either (1) old, or, (2) very difficult to adapt to changes; we will need to train them one-on-one in order for them to fully understand the scope of the new banking accounting software.
- This will better alleviate the confusion.
- Get my IT team together and inform them of the different phases of each. Tell them that we will (1) post the information in the teller’s break room, and (2), that we might need to have some sort of training module / session for each employee to better grasp the concepts of the accounting software as a whole, so that they can better utilize the resource.
- Inform my IT team, that we might very well need to train some of the employees who are just not “getting it”. This will be done through some sort of one-on-one training session.
- Understand that there will very likely be some more questions that arise from the new tweak to the banking accounting software, thus, we must be readily available to answer any such questions either in-person or via an email/memo.
- As the new week arrives, I will gather my IT team around 8:00 a.m. to inform them of the “big day” ahead of us.
- We will finalize what we’ve written on the professional memo; which will convey to the tellers on the changes-made in the banking-accounting software. This will include explaining the changes we made to (1) insuring the correct prompt screen appears, and, (2) the resizing of the consolidate/merge icon.
- I’ll run through with them on how we’re going to inform the tellers via the memo posted in the break room.
- Furthermore, I’m going to explain how we can also help the tellers with the banking-accounting software if they have any questions.
- Around 9:00 a.m., just before the tellers get in, I’ll post the memo up in the break room.
- I will be writing a professional memo, in order to place in the break room.
- Make sure that all the required information is written on the memo.
- Take out any IT-related jargon that the tellers may not fully understand.
- Make it accessible in the formatting of the memo, so that tellers aren’t left further confused than they already were.
- I’ll read over the memo twice, in order to double-check that I input all the necessary information into the memo.
- Will take out any unnecessary parts.
- Make sure that spelling and grammar are correct.
- Make sure that at least 2-3 other members on my IT team look over and read the memo in its entirety.
- Will look over it one more time, just for clarity.