Communication for Engineers Document Series Assignment
- Create three documents for one scenario only
- Please combine all three documents into one file (PDF or Word DOC)
- Learning Objectives
- Practice writing various forms of business correspondence and documents (i.e., email, letters, memos)
- Address purpose and audience in business correspondence
- Practice selecting the appropriate correspondence genre (i.e., email, letters, memos) for a specific rhetorical situation
- Develop a professional writing style, paying particular attention to concision (i.e., avoiding wordiness), paragraph construction, and tone
AssignmentChoose one of the following scenarios, and produce the requested documents for one scenario only. Each scenario asks you to prepare a range of three documents. You are responsible for determining the appropriate genre (email, memo, business letter, etc.) as well as the content of each document.
Scenario 1You are the technical manager of a large Internet design firm (100+ employees). One of your primary responsibilities is to manage a team of developers. Your unit’s primary goal is to build and deliver custom web applications and to update client websites. Due to the increase of information delivery via company intranets, your company has grown considerably. About 8 months ago you hired a small start-up company, MaintainU, to perform routine maintenance for clients’ websites because you needed to focus more attention on the custom applications. MaintainU does not interact with your clients and they work as sub-contractors through your company. Your clients are not aware of this move and for now, you and Nathan Elder, your company president, want to keep it this way. The last several months you have had problems with MaintainU not paying attention to version dates. They have, on several occasions, made changes requested by clients, but they also uploaded old pages to the site. Having dealt with a number of complaints, the most recent two weeks ago, you had a long conversation with Jason Hughes, the president of MaintainU, that mistakes are not acceptable. Now, this morning, you receive an angry call from a client, Sheila Links at Gateway Industries, because an executive that was fired two months ago has been added back to the executive page. Gateway Industries was one of the first clients your firm ever signed. While the client is on the phone, the mistake is corrected, and you end up setting up a meeting for lunch next week. For the first 6 months or so, the relationship with MaintainU was great. At this point, you’re uncertain if you want to continue the relationship, but at the same time, you cannot afford to bring maintenance work back in-house. Apparently, the phone call to Jason wasn’t enough. Deliverables Based on the scenario above, your deliverables will be the following documents:
- A document to the client, Gateway Industries.
- A document to MaintainU.
- A document to your company president, who is a micro-manager and likes to know everything that is going on.
Scenario 2You are the project manager of a civil engineering company. Your current project is a large-scale (100 miles) construction project that is restoring a portion of the wetlands in coastal Louisiana and southeast Texas. Currently, you are building a series of temporary access roads so that you can get equipment to one of the low-lying areas. This project involves a literal convoy of heavy trucks. Your firm has received numerous complaints from local residents about the noise and dust. In particular, you’ve received three letters from the same woman, Winnifred Doucette Lejeune. The last letter contained 10 additional signatures. If residents’ complaints continue to escalate, they could slow down the project and put you behind schedule. You make a trip from the office headquarters in Lafayette, LA to the Calcasieu/Sabine Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Area to see what’s going on. On site, you see everything seems to progressing fine. Workers are on the job by 7:00am and running until almost sundown, but in the local bar and grill, all the talk is about “the darn government project to nowhere.” When you get back to the office, you decide you need to take action. DeliverablesBased on the scenario above, your deliverables will be the following:
- A document to Winnifred Doucette Lejeune, who, after further investigation, is a local resident that seems to spearhead any effort the town needs.
- A document to the company vice president, Richard Smith, who asked to be told of any problem, or, in his words, “anything that even remotely smells like a problem” with the project.
- A document to the sub-contractor supervisor at the construction site. Your firm has used this sub-contractor for almost five years, but this is the first project you’ve worked on with this particular supervisor.
Scenario 3You’re the compliance coordinator for a biomedical company, Hadley Services, which provides field service technicians to local hospitals and medical offices. Hadley’s specialty is radiological equipment, particularly open MRIs. Your primary job is to coordinate the schedules for repair, calibration and preventive maintenance for all of your clients. You are also responsible for writing the reports that keep the company in compliance with local and federal guidelines. Since many medical facilities are starting to replace their outdated MRI machines with the new open MRIs, Hadley has grown considerably in the last 2 years. Hadley has a long standing relationship with the folks at Hitachi Medical, who manufacture the AIRIS Elite, the most commonly used machine in your market. In the early afternoon, you get an email from one of Hadley’s newest clients, St. Francis Clinic, which is a brand new clinic of the Alliance Medical Group. When St. Francis opened two months ago, they signed on with Hadley. The St. Francis account meant a lot to Hadley since they had been wooing the Alliance Medical Group for years. The email is from St. Francis’s clinic administrator, Pat Williams. The technician, Allen Franks, just left after completing a safety check, and now the machine is no longer recording data. You immediately dispatch another, more experienced technician (Marcus Ramirez) to address the problem, and call Ms. Williams. While you’re on the phone with her, Marcus texts you to tell you that problem is solved. You relay the information to Ms. Williams and hang up. After chatting with both technicians, the problem was a simple. Allen Franks had failed to connect the data port snuggly, which is a rookie technician mistake. Now that everything has settled down, you know you have some additional work to do. Deliverables Based on the scenario above, your deliverables will be the following:
- A document to Pat Williams, the client.
- A document to Hadley’s client rep, Ronni Simms, who is responsible for the St. Francis account, letting her know of the developments with her clinic.
- A document to Allen Franks.
Scenario 4As the quality control supervisor at Aero Coast, you make sure that the structural repairs on wide body passenger and freight aircraft are completed in compliance with all federal regulations. Aero Coast specializes in re-fitting aircraft and they have developed quite a reputation for innovative structural designs. In addition, Aero Coast is known for their attention to detail and finishing projects on time. You and the team have just completed a structural re-design to the interior of a plane that will be used to ship mini-widgets overseas. The re-design focused on customized racking systems to hold the sensitive mini-widgets in place on the long flight. About four hours after the plane has left, you get a text from the pilot. The plane has been grounded in the northeast because of “improper aircraft configuration.” The lens covers on the emergency lighting system are not FAA specified. After a few calls, you find a line mechanic that can make the necessary repairs, but he can’t get there for about 24 hours. You call the client and deliver the bad news–the flight will be delayed by a day. The client, Global Widget Freight, has been with Aero Coast for about three years, and you have a solid business relationship. They account for about 17% of your annual revenue, but they’ve just been bought out. You have some work to do to keep people happy and to make sure this type of problem does not happen again. Deliverables Based on the scenario above, your deliverables will be the following documents:
- A document to Carter Buchanan, Vice President at Global Widget Freight.
- A document to Bob Gunney, Aero Coast’s inspector, who signed off on the completed job.
- A document to Ned Masters, Vice President of Aero Coast.