Principles of Managing Information and Producing Documents

Assessment You should use this file to complete your Assessment. • The first thing you need to do is save a copy of this document, either onto your computer or a disk • Then work through your Assessment, remembering to save your work regularly • When you’ve finished, print out a copy to keep for reference • Then, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your completed Assessment to your tutor via your My Study area – make sure it is clearly marked with your name, the course title and the Unit and Assessment number. Please note that this Assessment document has 5 pages and is made up of 4 Sections.

Name: Section 1 – Understand the purpose of information technology in a business environment 1. In relation to your current business environment (or one that you are familiar with), identify at least two different types of information technology that may be used when completing work tasks. Microsoft word- I use it myself for letter writing, resume creation, card creation and writing my study assessments. Intranet- it is a computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to share information, operational systems or computing services within an organization.

2. What are the benefits to businesses (and others) of using information technology for doing work tasks? Information technology is a powerful tool that can make your business more productive and profitable. It can help streamline business activities, communicate more efficiently with customers and even generate new customers or clients- all while helping to reduce business expenses. This means that we can not only share information quickly and efficiently, but we can also bring down barriers of linguistic and geographic boundaries.

We can now communicate with anyone around the globe. IT has also brought about Cost Effectiveness by helping to computerize business processes thus streamlining business to make them extremely cost effective money making machines. Now that business has become very competitive, there is the need to use IT to remain ahead and in business. Section 2 – Understand how to manage electronic and paper-based information 1. Explain the purpose of agreeing objectives and deadlines when researching information.

If possible, refer to specific examples from research tasks you have worked on to support your answer. Research is important in business, as it provides information that will inform business decisions. It is important to agree on objective and deadlines so that you can focus on gathering the required information. Research can be done for many different reasons like: solving problems, generating ideas, providing information for management or customers as well as clarifying arrangements or informing decision makers.

So if the research is not done properly it can result in wrong information being collected and money and time being wasted. Objectives and deadline must go hand in hand. With the right objective and reasonable deadline only then can you provide a useful relevant piece of information. In the organization I work we collect information by doing customers surveys to research how we are doing and what needs improving. This information are checked every day to keep us up to date with customers needs and any improvement that need doing.

2. Identify the different ways of researching, organising and reporting information. Research- the most common research methods are: internet searches, literature searches, talking with people, focus groups, personal interviews, telephone surveys, mail surveys, email surveys, and internet surveys (internet searches often are done through search providers like goole. com or bing. com; literature search involves reviewing all readily available materials.

These materials can include internal company information, relevant trade publications, newspapers, magazines, annual reports, company literature, on-line data bases, and any other published materials; talking with people can include meetings with prospects, customers, suppliers, and other types of business conversations at trade shows, seminars, and association meetings; focus group is used as a preliminary research technique to explore people’s ideas and attitudes; personal interviews involve one person interviewing another person for personal or detailed information; telephone surveys are the fastest method of gathering information from a relatively large sample; mail surveys are a cost effective method of gathering information; email and internet surveys are relatively new and little is known about the effect of sampling bias in internet surveys- this is also the way we use in the company I work for;). Organising- it is important that information which collected is organized and stored in the correct way- either paper or electronic. There are five basic steps in organizing your information: 1. Inventory your content: What do you have already? What do you need? 2. Establish a hierarchical outline of your content ; 3. Chunking: Divide your content into logical units; 4. Draw diagrams that show the site structure and rough outlines of pages; 5. Analyze your system by testing the organization interactively with real users; revise as needed. Themes to organize information: Category, Time, Location, Alphabetic, Continuum; Reporting-

• Text (best for small chunks of information, immediate) • Memo (good for providing small chunks of information, permanent report, formal) • Business letter ( very formal, permanent document, not the best if large amount information needs to be contained, slower than electronic ways) • Email (instant, less formal, information can be attached) • Informal report (more complex information can be included) • Fax ( large amount of informations can be delivered, faster than letters) • Note (good for providing very small amount of info, informal, permanent record) 3a) For your own organisation (or one you know well), describe the procedures that need to be followed when archiving, retrieving and deleting information. Your answer should cover procedures for both electronic and paper-based information.

Information, as we know it today, includes both electronic and physical information. The organizational structure must be capable of managing this information throughout the information lifecycle regardless of source or format for delivery through multiple channels. Every business benefits from managing information correctly. There are three processes to do this: archiving, retrieving and deleting information. Archive: this process is used for very important information which is not access on regular basis. There may be a legal requirements to keep this kind of documents archived. The activity level is low. There should be a clear guideline on who can retrieve this kind of information.

In the company I work for I do not have an access to this kind of documents. They are paper documents stored in filling cabinet. Retained and stored: this process is used for very important information which needs to be kept in such a way that is easily accessible. In the company I work this kind of documents are employment contracts. They are stored in both ways –paper and electronic. This info is active. Use and then delete: this type of information has a value for limited period. In my company this can a new sales plan which apply to specific period and needs to be dealt with within specific time and then is deleted. This documents are used once and never again.

Delete: this process is used to remove irrelevant information- SPAM – often sent to businesses. Very often the is an automatic filter set to do this saving time of having to do this by person. 3b) When following the procedures outlined in Question 3a above, are there any legal requirements to consider? When storing information there are some important legal requirements to consider. Data protection act 1998- there are specific and strict rules for organization which information can be stored on individual. This is to protect people’s privacy. Retention period: there are specified times certain information can be kept. There is a law which specify the time the record can and must be kept.

Industry-specific legal requirements: companies may sometimes have their own legal requirement to keep certain records on file that apply to the business. They also must be kept in specific manner to protect privacy. 4. Why is confidentiality critical when managing information? Confidential information is considered as information that must be kept secret. While any information can be confidential, not all the information generated within a company must be kept secret. What is confidential is then judged by the company on the circumstances of each individual case, based on the necessity of it not being disclosed. Confidentiality is important for several reasons. One of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust.

It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them. Respect for client confidentiality and staff personal information should be a high priority for all community services to comply with legislation that governs disclosure of information. In this regard all organisations need to have policies and procedures that provide guidelines for workers. Section 3 – Understand the purpose of producing documents that are fit for purpose 1. Identify at least two reasons for producing documents that are fit for purpose. Producing documents that are fit for purpose is very important as makes the business more efficient and effective.

It also saves time and money by having correct documents prepared in specific format and with agreed content. 2. Use the table below to describe some of the different types and styles of documents that are produced in a business environment, and then explain when these different options may be used. |Documents |When they are used | |Business letter |very formal | | |used for permanent written document | | |not the best if large amount of information needs to be delivered | | |slower than electronic ways | | |for external recipient | |Email |can be sent instantly to anyone in the world | | |used as less formal way | | |lots of different types of files can be attached | |Formal report |present complex and linked information | |

|gives clear account of things | | |for external or internal recipients | |Note |great to deliver small amount of information | | |informal way | | |permanent record | | |for internal recipients | Section 4 – Know the procedures to be followed when producing documents 1. In most organisations, time is taken to agree the purpose, content, layout, quality standards and deadlines for the production of documents. What are the reasons for doing this level of planning? Many potential problems can be avoided if the time is taken to agree the specifications of the documents. The documents that you produce are an image or representation of your organization.

So it automatically creates an impression on the reader about the standards of the organization and how it values its customers. A good quality document also looks good on the reader’s eyes, and is easy to follow and read. Good quality documents attract customers and suppliers, thereby increasing the profit for the organization. ‘Proper planning prevents poor performance’ 2. Businesses will spend time checking finished documents for accuracy and correctness. 1. How is this done? The first person to check the document is likely to be the author. – Have a copy final draft of the document awaiting approval. – Have a document specifications ready on hand to ensure the guideline were followed – Check if the guidelines were followed as specified – Check grammar and spelling

For documents that are highly important, it may be appropriate to have another person do the whole checking process or check a relevant part of it. 2. Why is this done? The documents are checked for accuracy and correctness to ensure that the documents are fit for purpose. If the checking phase is not completed then the incorrect type of information may be enclosed, lots of mistakes may be made which can lead to customers being dissatisfied and business becoming inefficient. 3. Explain the purpose of following confidentiality and data protection procedures when preparing documents. Every business should have clear procedures on data protection and confidentiality when producing documents. It is required by law to follow data protection act 1998.

The business should specify who can access confidential information so it does not get into the wrong hands. It should also be used on need-to-know basis which means that the confidential information should only be accessed if it is needed for the job not to be misused for any reason. If for any reason confidential information is misused or gets into the wrong hand company can be held responsible which can lead to law being broken and can cost the business money and future prospects. 4. In business environments, there is often a requirement to use notes as the basis for text and documents. 1. Compare the different types of documents that can be produced from notes and include a description of the format of each document.

a) Email (electronic way, less formal, can be sent instantly, can contain lots of attachments) b) Business letter (paper way, permanent document, very formal, slower than electronic, not the best way if large amount of information needs to be included) c) Fax ( paper way, good if large amount of information need to be delivered, faster than letters) d) Formal report/ informal report (paper/ electronic, can present more complex and linked information, good to give a clear account of things) e) Memo (paper format, formal, permanent, good for small chunks of information or bullet points) f) Text (paper/ electronic, good for small amount of information) 2.

Explain the procedures to be followed when preparing text from notes. ? Establish the purpose for taking the notes ? Establish the format for the document which will be produced from these notes ? Make sure your notes are clear and easy to understand correct it if necessary ? Make sure you included all the details so the document which will be produced from your notes will include all information required ? Check the facts ? Produce the document based on the notes taken ? Check the document using the document checking process Once you have completed all 4 Sections of this Assessment, go to www. vision2learn. com and send your work to your tutor for marking.