Are we clear? Writing well can be key to your career

Writing is an important communication tool that none of us can ignore

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As students, most of us probably wished we had fewer papers to write. Wasn’t there a more efficient way to demonstrate that we had learned the things we needed to learn?

What we probably didn’t realize is that by writing so often, we were learning how to write. And knowing how to write is a key skill in many occupations, including IT. But for IT staffers who didn’t absorb the lesson and still don’t write well, there’s still hope.

When project requirements, business cases, IT strategies, supplier contracts and other documents are not clearly written, they are likely to be misinterpreted. The result is often additional work, with cost overruns, systems that don’t meet user needs, legal disputes and other problems. Even a simple email requesting a 2:00 call can be misinterpreted if the time zone is not specified and callers are in different parts of the world. Moreover, business letters, memos, presentations, podcasts and videos are often read or watched months or years after they were created, without any additional explanation from the author. The time lag can complicate matters and misunderstandings even further.

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