ASU Active Workstation Propos

Short Informal Proposal

Review chap 12

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Look at the following example:

Figure 12.11 Internal Proposal pp. 381-384


You work in the HR department for Granite Gear, an online outdoor store.  Although you are an outdoor company, not all of your employees are super fit outdoor enthusiasts. You have assembled the readings above and read that other companies have given their employees access to active workstations to encourage them to engage in a more active lifestyle.  More activity may benefit the employees in terms of their health and may benefit the company in terms of healthier employees who need less time off for injury or illness. Therefore you will write a short informal proposal to the VP of Operations in which you argue that your company should equip the large, shared work area with options for employees who would embrace this new active opportunity.  You have no indication that the VP will be resistant to your report. You know this person by name (so use a name).

An active workstation can take many forms.  In your proposal you make the case for an expenditure of no more than $10,000 (total) to buy active workstation equipment of your choice.  You want to add this new equipment to the conventional office equipment employees already use.  The workplace has an open style and is one large room.

Your proposal has the following components in this order:

  1. Memo Header & clear subject line that catches reader’s attention
  2. An Executive Summary: this first paragraph contains the following: a buffer, the main reason for investing in this activity workplace equipment and what the options are, and the budget involved. (An executive summary, see pages 380 and 417, allows a reader to read only that paragraph and decide whether he or she needs to keep reading).
  3. Description of the Problem: Use sufficient detail to persuade readers that inactivity during the day at work causes a number of problems (use sources to document the types of problems being inactive at work can lead to). For evidence, sources that have some medical status would work well, but sources don’t need to be limited to medical sources.
  4. Solution: Describe your solution and then follow this with at least three arguments for your idea giving employees active workstations. These arguments are benefits you believe the company and employees will gain. Try to use positive language. Support your arguments with primary and/or secondary research material (e.g. evidence from various studies or case histories to show the positive experience that other companies have experienced when they have given employees these devices).
  5. More detailed information about specific details such as:
  6. Ideal qualities an active workstation
  7. A time frame (how long it will take to implement your plan)
  8. All facts need to be supported by material from your research.  You want to explain all these details so the VP believes that you have a great deal of credibility.
  9. 8. Budget Information: An estimate of the total cost of the outfitting of active workstation equipment for your company. You must explain the budget items in detail.  If you are asking someone to give you money or asking them to implement something that will require money, you need to justify the expense and explain how you arrived at the amounts you did. Are there any other expenses in addition to the equipment itself?    Also what is the cost per employee?
  10. 9. Objection and Refutation: You should anticipate at least one objection to your proposal and refute it.  Read the sources I have given you and you will find possible objections employees and employers have. Deciding on your own objection is fine as long as it is very reasonable and relevant to the assignment.
  11. 10. A conclusion persuasively restating your request and the main reason and explain how you can be contacted should the VP want to discuss this in person.
  12. 11. Use informative headings: See p. 361 (top).

The purpose of your formatting is to make your argument as understandable and accessible as possible. Therefore it is of vital importance to create a visually appealing document that allows the reader to easily skim the document for essential information. Do not hesitate to experiment with pictures, graphs, tables, different fonts, type sizes, columns, bulleted lists, and other options as ways to convey information persuasively.

Additional Considerations:

As you complete your report, you will want to pay close attention to what Thill and Bovee discuss in Chapters 12 and 13.  In particular, you’ll want to consider the following material:

In the Table 12.1 (p. 356), you see the difference between a problem statement and a purpose statement.  While your thinking about the project will probably start with a problem statement, you will need to create a statement of purpose that presents both what you are going to write about (the problem) AND why you are writing the report (what you want to happen).  If you do not have a clear sense of your purpose, it is difficult to write an effective report since “effective” means achieving a specific purpose. 

Use attributions for  sources.   

Remember that for your report to be effective and persuasive, you need to support your claims with evidence that your audience will value.  So find good sources and use them well.

Finally, the report is asking you to identify medical information (from reputable medically-based sources) as well as retail information (from sellers).  DO NOT get mixed up.  Claims that a particular chair does great things doesn’t count as medical information.  You need to find credible medically-based info on health issues.

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