Look at this typical inspection report from a project manager to a contractor:
Our inspection of the construction site detected three performance deficiencies:
- The work area was not secured from public access.
- The workers are not wearing proper personal protective equipment.
- The supervisor was not on site during the work.
Please correct these problems by tomorrow morning.When I ask experts in this field to highlight the most important word in the message, they unanimously agree it is correct. Then why not start there:
Please correct three performance deficiencies at the construction site that our inspection detected:
- securing the work area from public access
- requiring workers to wear proper personal protective equipment
- deploying an on-site supervisor during the work
We will reinspect the premises tomorrow morning to ensure your compliance.I explain that their standard method (the first draft) is perfectly logical—chronological. But the contractor's job is to correct deficiencies, so inspectors should think hierarchically, beginning with the most important point. That's what we mean by getting to the point: starting not what we think, but our reader's think, is the most important point.