Are your project documents the best they can be? Do they give readers the information they’re looking for in a way that’s easy to digest? Are they accurate and professional? Read through these common business writing mistakes to see if your documentation could use a little more polish.
1 – Poor spelling. In these days of automatic spell check, there’s almost no excuse for misspellings. Project management professionals sometimes chalk it up to “I’m too busy and nobody notices anyway,” but you’re not too busy to produce accurate business documents, and people do notice. Run a spell check before sending out anything but the most informal correspondence, and confirm the correct spelling of proper names.
2 – Incorrect grammar and syntax. While grammatical errors could reflect badly on you personally, they’re more of a concern when they have the potential to confuse your readers. Take some extra time to confirm that plurals and possessives are correct, along with your use of periods, commas, semi-colons, and dashes.
3 – Lack of proofreading. Built-in spelling and grammar checks won’t save you every time. When possible, have another set of eyes review your documents for errors or inaccuracies. At the very least, read through your work slowly one last time before sending it out—catching just one error improves the quality of your document.
4 – Too much slang or jargon. Unprofessional slang and ambiguous jargon could be confusing or even off-putting to readers. Strive for clarity and brevity, and be sure to thoroughly explain concepts which may not be universally known.
5 – Obscure or confusing words. This is not the time to test the boundaries of your vocabulary. Your readers are looking for facts, figures, and project-related information, so keep things simple and direct. Write out potentially unknown acronyms and replace any language that could be misconstrued.