I don’t think I have ever been the world’s greatest report writer. I much prefer to talk ideas through than to write them down. That may seem to be an odd thing to say as a blogger yet I think my writing style is more conversational than formal. My blog attempts to speak to the reader.
Reports though, whether I like it or not, are a fundamental part of the DNA of where I work. I think it must be true of all of the public sector. We work in such strong bureaucracies and reports are the expected form of communication and the way we seek agreement.
Which is fine if you are good at writing a report.
I have been trying to get an open data project up and running. You may recall me mentioning it on many occasions already. I have toyed with the concept of big data for some time yet have confused my arguments and have settled on the notion that, at least at this stage, an open data approach would be much better..
I have made great leaps forward. I have spoken to many people and on many occasions. I have tugged at the ears of anyone who I hoped may have influence and eventually got to the highest echelons of the organisation. My last hurdle is to get this report through the process.
I have written it, have rewritten it and rewritten again. I have made so many amendments that it became illegible and have had to start again. The thing is that each time I circulated the report for comment half the audience wanted to add more and the other half wanted to take stuff out. Half said it lacked clarity because it was too complicated and half said it lacked the necessary detail. Half wanted more punch while the other half wanted more pillows.
I the end I decided to take as many concerns into consideration as I could and write the report that I want. I have ended up with a Goldilocks and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it gets over the line as we say around here.
I wrote this on my phone which wasn’t easy either.