Procedural Memo Assignment

Each team is required to sketch a brief procedural memo as a way of planning your work and preventing as much procedural conflict as possible. I will keep a copy of the procedural memos in case problems arise. Whatever your group policy is for dealing with “problem” group members is the policy I will enforce if the need arises. Your procedural memo should answer the following questions:

  • Compile a list of all group members’ full names, phone numbers, and email addresses
  • What roles need to be filled (leader, secretary, client contact person,   etc) and who will fill them? At the minimum,
    • assign a team leader, whose job is to coordinate work and make sure all members are informed and know that they are supposed to do. This person should be organized, responsible, and dependable. 
    • assign a team secretary, whose job is to take attendance and notes at all meetings and email necessary information to teammates and instructor, as well as to make and distribute copies of the final report to class. This person should have excellent written communication skills. 
  • What are the tasks your group needs to accomplish? Create a list of very specific tasks. Specific tasks are better than general ones. For example, don’t just say you need to “write a report.” Break down writing a report into its subtasks. 
  • How will you divide up the work? Note that all group members must participate in both writing and presenting.
  • Create a timeline for completing each task above with the name of each person assigned to the task, using the syllabus deadlines and working backwards for all tasks and subtasks required to develop the project.
  • When and where will you meet? Create a list of tentative meeting dates and places. 
  • What behaviors do you expect of team members? What behaviors are unacceptable from team members?
  • How will you resolve disagreements?
  • What will happen if group members do not fulfill their responsibilities? Be specific. Write a policy for dealing with people who don’t attend meetings, meet deadlines, or do their assigned work at all or in a timely manner. You MUST have a policy. You cannot say that your choice is not to have a policy. What that policy is remains up to you, but it should be very specific. (How many no-shows? How many instances of late work? What will be the response--Grade deductions? Failure? Out of the group? Group intervention? There are many options.)

Your group secretary should compile all of this information into an organized memo and email it to me and all group members by [date].


Example Memorandum


TO: Team Members and Instructor

FROM: [name], documentation group secretary

SUBJECT: Procedural Memo

Team Members

[name], Group Leader
Phone: 555-1234


[name], Secretary
Phone: 555-1234


Phone: 555-1234


Phone: 555-1234


Team Meetings
Team meetings will take place in [location], at [time] on [days].  We will meet on a regular basis unless the group decides that a meeting is not needed.  We will hold our meeting for as long as needed to finish the work at hand. Meetings will be professional where we will focus on the work at hand, members need to respect others’ opinions and provide constructive criticism.


Division of labor
Each group member will be associated with another group. That member is to ask questions and field questions from their group. What member is assigned to each group has yet to be decided.


Policy for violations
Each member is allowed two unexcused absences from both group meets and classes.  If a person misses more than two, there will be a deduction of [nn] points from their grade for each project day over the allowed two absences. Absences are excused if the group member notifies another member who will be at the meeting or class and has a viable excuse such as illness or family emergency.
All assignments and work related to the major project needs to be turned in on time.  Any assignments or documents turned in late will have [nn] points per day late deducted from the score.
Point deductions will be recorded by the secretary and given to [Instructor] to apply to grades accordingly.  The group decided on point deductions because we believed it was the best punishment that members would take seriously.


Group work plan
We plan on finishing our group work plan on Tuesday during class. At the end of class, we will assess what we need to finish and assign homework and further meetings as the group sees fit to finish the assignment.


Any questions please e-mail or call me; this information can be found at the top of the memo.