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Cut down on reports with the 5-15 method


If there are too many long reports circulating in your management team with no one having any time to read them, Gary Cohen, president of ACI Telecentrics, Inc., suggests you try the 5-15 weekly report.

It's intended to take no more than five minutes to read and 15 minutes to write. Even better than the condensed time frame, he writes on the CO2 Partners blog, the weekly reports "allow team members to communicate successes without feeling awkward, capture important lessons, demonstrate awareness of next steps, and alert you to setbacks without asking for support." The structure, developed by Patagonia Inc. CEO Yvon Chouinard, is:

  • Name:
  • Week ending:
  • Accomplishments for the week: (List completed activities and notable accomplishments. In general, what is working? What is your current situation?)
  • Priorities for next week: (Be specific.)
  • Challenges/Roadblocks: (Describe potential challenges that may impede your intended tasks/goals.)
  • Lessons Learned/Opportunities for Improvement: (List any area that might benefit from improvement; questions you are trying to solve; lessons recently learned or relearned.)
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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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