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11/25/08
MISTAKES? I’VE MADE A FEW…THOUSAND – Pt.2
Filed under: GENERAL
Posted by: Jon @ 6:33 am

THE CASE OF THE MISSING PAGE

Project:  A federally-funded mentoring grant for at-risk youth.

What Happened:  We were finishing this one in the office of the client the day the grant needed to be postmarked.  As soon as the grant was completed and assembled, I handed it over to a clerical assistant in charge of copying.  I explained to her the number of copies I needed, etc. and made the assumption that, because she was in charge of copying for the office, she would be thorough: check all originals, check all copies, monitor all reproduction.  With the clock ticking, I used the time to get the last few signatures needed on the document.

MISTAKES

  1. I trusted someone else to copy the document, let it out of my sight and didn’t watch them do it to make sure each page came out.  
  2. I checked the original for all pages going into the copy room, but not coming out.
  3. I assumed that someone would check the copies to make sure all the pages were there.
  4. I didn’t set aside enough time to check pages on all the copies and the original myself.
RESULTS WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY
  1. Simple:  trust no one else but me to do the copying.
  2. Assemble a team of trustworthy members of the writing team to go through and verify that each page of the grant is there.
  3. Make sure I save time to check them all once again thoroughly before they are sealed in the mailer.
More about this in my new book RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: THE GROUNDBREAKING PROCESS USED TO WIN MORE THAN $385 MILLION IN COMPETITIVE GRANT AWARDS.  Available at www.SandyPointInk.com or Amazon.com.