Assessment task 2 is designed to help students develop skills in the use of Production and Operations Management principles, theories and models in the analysis of the current operating practices of a service organisation. The assignment involves a technical analysis of current practices highlighted in a short case study, and the development of recommendations designed to overcome any perceived problems. Business Report Business reports are an important communications element in most organisations. The requirements of reports vary greatly. Many organisations have their own preferred formats, and the nature of the report often dictates how it is presented. For reports in this course, one of the basic requirements is that knowledge claims and other information must be authoritative, verifiable and properly acknowledged by correct referencing. The source of knowledge claims and information should also be critically assessed. . How should the report be formatted? In this course, the report should follow the 'short report' format. The Academic Learning Centre provides useful guidance in this regard. The report should be formatted using the following style guide. Font: A serif font such as New Times Roman - this is because in print form it is easier to read, and comprehension is better. Font size: A typeface of 11 or 12 points is preferable, but depends on the type face. Times New Roman, 12 point is ideal for this report. Line spacing: 1.5 lines. Paragraph spacing: either 12 points if adjusting space after paragraph using paragraph formatting (this is for people who know how to use Microsoft Word properly), or a single blank line (that means two 'enters'). Headings: Headings should be meaningful and provide a logical roadmap through the report. Two levels of headings, maximum of three, can be used. You can use numbered headings if desired, but not essential. Using the heading system in Word allows you to automatically create your table of contents (same goes for tables and figures, if you use captions, word will automatically create your table of tables and table of figures if you ask it nicely). References: Harvard author/date referencing style as provided in the referencing guide. the reference list should be on a new page, and comes after the conclusion but before appendices (if there are any). The reference list heading should be "References" not "Reference List". Appendices: Only include appended material if relevant. Do not expect the marker to read it all. If it is an essential part of your argument or discussion, the material should be included in the body, or at least summarised. Don't use appendices to manipulate word count restrictions. Do not include any appended material that is not germane and has not been discussed in the report. Title page: Although electronic submission does not require a coversheet, the assignment should have a title page. See the section above for specific instructions regarding the title page. Front matter: Standard front matter items include executive summary, table of contents, table of tables, table of figures. Front matter is numbered in Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv etc.), and the body is numbered in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4,) with the first page of the introduction being page 1. To do this you will need to use section breaks in your document and stipulate different footers for each section. Obviously, to create a businesslike report, high level word processing skills are needed. Letter of transmittal: The letter of transmittal is the letter that accompanies the report. It is addressed to the person that requested the report and may contain limited information. There is plenty of information about letters of transmittal in business communications textbooks as well as on the internet. In this course the letter of transmittal should come after the title page, but not numbered (it is really a separate document, but for our purposes it has to be included in a single report file). Executive summary: The report should contain an Executive Summary that is positioned after the letter of transmittal and before the table of contents. See below for more information regarding the Executive Summary. Page identification: Each page should have either student name or student number (best place to put this is in the header or footer in small type) and the course code. Borders: Do not use borders in any part of the paper (you may use a line to separate the header of footer from the main body if desired). Reports should be presented in a professional manner; that does not mean clip art or fancy layouts and colours. It means that the paper looks good, everything is present and in the right place, headings are meaningful, and the language of the report is standard business English (using Australian spelling). How do I write an Executive Summary? The thing to remember about an executive summary is that it is not the introduction, and it is not a "teaser". It is a summary of the report. The main purpose of the executive summary is to allow a busy reader to get a good idea of what is in the report without having to read it. A properly constructed Table of Contents can often be used as the skeleton for the summary. As with the report introduction, the executive summary should be written at the end of the report writing process. The University of Woolongong gives some examples of good and poor executive summaries.