Sunday, 12 August 2012

Produce Documents in a Business Environment - NVQ Level2 Business & Administration

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INTRODUCTION

This unit is about preparing high quality and attractive documents to agreed layouts, formats, styles to meet agreed deadlines.

1.1 Outline different types of documents that may be produced and the different styles that could be used


A document is information produced in either printed or electronic (on-screen) format. All documents can be produced using standard applications packages.
We can use different kind of formats:
Standard word documents: Use for the creation of most documents such as letters, memos, minutes, etc.

Template: it is a sample document that can be completed either by hand or through a software assistant word processing templates enable the ability to bypass the initial setup and configuration time necessary to create standardized documents such company response letter. Most companies use templates now a day as is good way to have a standard document for everyone to use.

Spreadsheets: We will use Spreadsheet for storing, calculating, filtering, verifying, sorting, displaying, creating graphic charts etc . Its use is much extended now days to show large amount of data. We can use spreadsheet electronically or be printed for show.

Slide Show: A slide show is an on-screen presentation of information or ideas presented on slides. A slide show enforces the ideas, comments, solution or suggestions presented in the slide. Slide shows are conducted by a presenter using an apparatus, such as a carousel slide projector, an overhead projector or in more recent years, a computer running presentation software.
Short documents
Memo
A memo is a short note to someone else in the same organisation. It can be sent by email, handwritten or printed out and delivered by hand. Memos are usually informal in style, but most organisations have a set format to ensure that essential information is not missed out, such as subject, date, sender’s name and contact details.
Business email message
Emails are widely used for formal business purposes, as well as for informal notes to friends. Because anything said in an email is legally binding, many organisations insist that business emails follow the same conventions as business letters. A business email should always end with a signature.
Letter
A formal letter is a type of correspondence from an organisation to a client or other contact. Business letters normally have a standard structure and should include business heading, address of the recipient, date the letter was written, salutation, ending and signature of the sender.
Order form
This will have been designed so that it captures all the information that the business needs:
Agenda
An agenda is a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting. A typical agenda might have these items: apologies for absence, minutes of the last meeting, matters arising from the minutes items for discussion, date of next meeting and any other business.
An agenda should be circulated in good time so that the people attending the meeting have time to think and read about the issues.
Minutes
The minutes of a meeting are a summary of what was discussed and the decisions made. The minutes should follow the same structure as the agenda. Someone at the meeting is given the task of taking the minutes, which means making notes and writing them up.
Extended documents
Article
An article may be written for the staff newsletter. The style of an article falls somewhere between a report and an essay. Many organisations produce newsletters for their staff or customers, keeping them up to date with new products and news about the company. Newsletters can incorporate photos and graphical headings.
Report
A report is any document that is written to explain a project, provide facts or generally convey information. Internal reports will be used by managers to help them make decisions.
We can use graphical documents such an illustrations, charts, flowcharts, diagrams and promotional documents ( advertisement, leaflets and web pages ).
Documents can be informal, for example emails to colleagues, or formal. Formal documents are used in organisations for important business meetings. They are stored for a long time after the meetings as evidence of the discussions that took place and the decisions that were made. Examples of formal documents include agendas and reports

1.2 Describe different formats in which text may be presented

The different formats in which text may be presented are they are font typefaces, headings, font size, effects (bold, italics, underline, etc.), colours etc. We can format the text in paragraphs, tables and columns. We can add bullets or numbers, headers and footers.
Files can be created in applications in a number of standard formats. You can tell which format is being used by looking at the last part of the full file name, known as the file name extension. For example, the filename dogs.bmp has the filename extension .bmp, which tells us that this is an image file stored in bitmap format.
• Text files (.txt) – also known as ASCII files, these are created by text editors and simply contain basic characters in the ASCII character set. You can also save a word processed document in text format, but you will lose all the character formatting and any special characters that you have used. They are used to produce very simple text files for technical use. The simplest text editors, such as Microsoft® Notepad, allow you to write and save text files.
• Rich text files (.rtf) – are produced by word processors and preserve a certain amount of character formatting, such as colours and fonts. They can usually be exchanged between applications from different software companies.
• Word processed files – use different formats depending on which application has been used. Microsoft® Word® files use the filename extensions .doc or .docx. They are not always compatible with other word processing applications. Used to produce letters, reports, simple publications and labels. Word processors are the most widely used software packages. Microsoft® Word® is the best known.
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• HTML files – text files that contain the programming code for web pages. They are saved with the filename extension .htm or .html, which tells a browser that they can be interpreted as web pages.
• Plain text emails and text messages – use their own file formats, but they are based on simple text files. Used to create, send, receive, store and organise emails and text messages email client software – such as Outlook, which communicates with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and handles all the emails for you. Webmail software such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo Mail, which is provided by an online provider and which you can only access online.

1.3 Explain the purpose and benefits of producing high quality and attractive documents

The purpose and benefits of producing high quality and attractive documents is to promote a good image of our organisation. A poor presented document may reflect that we don’t care about our customers/colleagues/managers.
Documents have to be produce to a high standard, with a simple and clear format, easy to understand and well presented.
Quality improves customer satisfaction, improve profitability, support improvement and innovation, help to identify and manage risk and ensure corporate care and responsibility.

2.1 Describe the types of resources available for producing high quality and attractive documents

Resources you might need to produce high quality and attractive document are:
  • A good software.
  • A good quality scanner.
  • A good quality printer.
  • A computer.
  • Good quality paper.

2.2 Outline ways of using different resources to produce documents

The ways I can use different resources to produce documents are:
-Using a good software for high quality word processing that can support all popular formats and that is versatile for document creation. Most software will help us to create attractive documents by having a choice of fonts, page layout etc.
- Using a good scan that can copy originals. If you have a quality scanner you can create electronic images and printed copies that look as good as the original picture or document.
- Using a good quality printer that can create high resolution documents an neat prints.
- Using good quality paper for a nice finish.
To make the documents more attractive and more reader friendly we can use pictures and a clear font. We can present lists using numbers, letters or bullets. Structure the information into topics, with headings and subheadings for sections.
We can use tables to display information laid out in two dimensions.

2.3 Describe different types of technology available for inputting, formatting and editing text, and their main features

The different types of technology available for inputting, formatting and editing text are:
A computer with which you interact through a user interface. This consist of a visual display on the screen, which you control using a key board and a mouse and other device. Some user interfaces incorporate sound as well. Most interfaces take input from the user via a keyboard or mouse.
Specialist input devices can analyse sound and accept speech instead. Voice recognition input devices are particularly helpful for visually impaired users and also for those who have difficulties with movement and are unable to control a mouse or keyboard.
We can use scanners to transfer documents into the computer and transform this document to other text formants for example a PDF document can be converted into a Word document and vice versa.
Manufacturers of software often develop suites of applications. An integrated package provides all the common office tools, for example Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint etc, wrapped up into one application.
Files can be created in applications in a number of standard formats such as: Text files (.txt), Rich text files (.rtf), Word processed files, HTML files Etc.
Features and design varied between manufacturers and models but there are some common ones that we can find. Word processing typically implies the presence of text manipulation functions that extend beyond a basic ability to enter and change text, such as automatic generation of:
• batch mailings using a form letter template and an address database (also called mail merging);
• indices of keywords and their page numbers;
• tables of contents with section titles and their page numbers;
• tables of figures with caption titles and their page numbers;
• cross-referencing with section or page numbers;
• footnote numbering;
• new versions of a document using variables (e.g. model numbers, product names, etc.)
Other word processing functions include spell checking (actually checks against wordlists), "grammar checking" (checks for what seem to be simple grammar errors), and a "thesaurus" function (finds words with similar or opposite meanings). Other common features include collaborative editing, comments and annotations, support for images and diagrams and internal cross-referencing.

3.1 Explain the benefits of agreeing the purpose, content, style, and deadlines for producing documents

The audience of a document is the group of people for whom it was written. Documents should be designed to meet the needs of the expected audience.
The purpose of a document can be to:
• Inform – letters, memos, emails, texts, invoices, agendas, newsletters, user guides, illustrations, charts and diagrams all provide information for the audience.
• Query (i.e. to ask questions) – order forms, surveys and questionnaires capture information from the audience.
• Advertise – letters, emails, leaflets, posters and web pages can be used to promote goods and services.
• Record – letters, emails, news items, minutes and reports can all give an account of something that has happened.
A document can only communicate information if it is written and presented in a way that makes sense to the reader. You should ask ‘Will my audience understand what I am trying to tell them?’
If we don’t establish and agree on purpose, style, content quality standards and deadlines, It will be pointless to produce a document because we will waste our time and fail and we will duplicate work by having to produce another document again.


3.2 Outline different ways of organising content needed for documents


Before we start work in a document we need to think:
• Is the document intended for one individual, for a group of people or for the public in general?
• Is it written for friends or for a business audience?
• Is it written for other members of the same organisation, e.g. internal staff, or for people external to the organisation, like customers?
And with this is mind we should plan:
• The information that is to be included.
• Is it written for friends or for a business audience?.
• Purpose of the document.
• How the document is to be presented.
• How long the document can be.
• Is it written for other members of the same organisation, e.g. internal staff, or for people external to the organisation, like customers?.
• The resources I need to complete the job.
All the information needed to prepare the document should be stored safely with clear file names, a list or database of resources. How the finished document is presented and organised will depend on what the document is to be used for, the format and the content. So this must be agreed with the originator and updated regularly to make sure the finished product is fit for purpose. Sub-headings are useful so that a particular point of information is easy to find.

3.3 Outline ways of integrating and laying out text and non-text

Text and non - text can be integrated easily with Microsoft Office Word. Microsoft office word enables you to insert pictures, graphs, clip art and wrap text around and it helps you to work around with its different features to get that consistent format. There are a variety of different features that can be used too. Also there are various other office applications that help with integrating and laying out text and non-text, for example excel and PowerPoint, help with integrating text and non-text in spreadsheets and slides. Which ever application is used, the formatting and other processes have to be done, bearing in mind how you need the output document to look like.
There are many ways of laying out a document, using columns, graphics, blocks of text, headings, background colours, images and white space.
Many organisations use a logo on all their printed materials and their documents often have a very specific style. This will be achieved by always using the same fonts, font sizes, text and page colours and page layout. This is known as the house (or corporate) style of the organisation.

3.4 Describe ways of checking finished documents for accuracy – including spelling, grammar and punctuation – and correctness, and the purpose of doing so

When you have finished creating a document, you should review and check it very thoroughly before making it public or submitting it for assessment.
Most applications that handle text offer a number of tools for checking the suitability of the language you have used.
You should have the automatic spelling and grammar checker switched on as a matter of course when you are using a text-based application.
Even if you are good at spelling you will still make typing errors. Make sure that the spell checker is set for UK English spellings.
If you use the spellchecker, you will still have to use your own intelligence to decide between the alternatives offered.
If you have imported a document, or have not been using the automatic checking tools, you can check a whole document at once.
When a whole document is checked the readability statistics can be displayed, along with other useful information, such as the number of words in the document
You check for accuracy and correctness because it makes it easier for someone to understand you. When you use correct grammar, you make it easier for people to understand your ideas. Correct spelling helps people know what word you are using.

3.5 Explain the purpose of storing documents safely and securely, and ways of doing so
Any documentation of even minor importance should always be stored safely via, digital storage or physical storage E.g. filing cabinet as it may be required in the future for other projects, thus increasing its importance. Plus if it is of a confidential nature the record/s must be kept safe as not to breech the Data Protection act.
Files and records should be stored to comply with the regulations to ensure the safety of said documentation/data and is vital for a business to run smoothly. Information must be securely stored so it can not be disclosed to third parties without the relative permissions. It is important because any data that is not secure can be spread all over the internet. Also make sure you save your work and secure it properly.
Also you should always, save the changes to the document, drawing or spread sheet you are working on as often as possible- in the event of a power cut or computer crash.
Most businesses which rely on electronic data should have a good backup solution, so that data is being backed up every night to an external storage media.

3.6 Explain the purpose of confidentiality and data protection when preparing

documents Confidentiality is very important in preparing documents because this involves a lot of private data, thus in order to protect the users and the owner, confidentiality must be observed. Data protection is also significant to assure that nobody will be able to get the data and spread it to anybody else

3.7 Explain the purpose and benefits of meeting deadlines

It is important that you produce your work to the best possible standard in order to meet the requirements of the person who set you the task. This shows that you are responsible and trustworthy and that you can be relied upon to get things done. You do not know who else might be waiting for your work; it could have to be passed on to someone else. This could cause problems in a business environment and affect your team relationship. Your line manager will expect you to meet all your deadlines, this could have a detrimental effect on your progress is you regularly fail at this.

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