How does a public official write a case file that allows the minister to make good decisions?
The Danish Agency for Public Finance and Management wanted to shine a spotlight on two issues:
- How do you write case files that are not too long and detailed while maintaining a level of information and analysis in the text that allows the receiver (minister or department leadership) to make good decisions?
- How do you write case files that are catered to non-specialists without compromising your own highly specialized knowledge?
The solution we designed together
We came at the issue on two different axes:
- We had the department leadership give us input on what they consider good case files: what is the content? How long is it? What characterizes the language it is written in?
- Using this knowledge, we trained the employees in structuring their writing processes and how to ask the right questions to the requester of the text. We gave the employees concrete writing tools that they tried on in practice.
The overall outcome were a combination of better case files and the development of a common terminology for writing that allowed for the learning to continue after the course. The employees can now employ tools in
- Clear written communication that focuses on one purpose
- Audience orientation, and how to cater to your specific readers
- Credibility and how to convey your specialized knowledge to non-specialists
- Argumentation and choosing the right arguments for the situation.