Supporting the Writing of Reports in a Hierarchical Organization.


In many hierarchical companies, reports from several independent groups must be merged to form a single, company-wide report. This paper describes a process and system for creating and structuring such reports and for propagating contributions up the organization. The system has been in regular use, in-house, by about 30 users for over a year to create monthly status reports. Our experiences indicate that it is possible to change a monthly reporting practice so that the system is easy to use, improves the quality of the written report, fosters collaboration across projects and creates a corporate memory for the company. These results were achieved as a consequence of our design effort to directly support the hierarchical and collaborative process of creating and assembling the report within the organization. User feedback has led to many improvements in the usability and functionality of the system. Further enhancements using information retrieval and text summarization techniques are in progress.