Top tips for writing a CMYA entry

It’s entry time and the CMYA team always look forward to hearing really great stories about the ups and downs of construction management.

People often ask us ‘what makes a winning project?’ and we always say the same; ‘there’s just simply no set formula.’

Winners come from different sized companies, different value projects, different building types. But something in the way they inspire their team, think innovatively and exceed expectations makes them stand out as an exceptional individual.

That said, we do have some top tips for writing a really great report that we’d like to share with you.

1. Make it easy for the reader

Our judges read a lot of reports in this process. A neat layout with short, concise paragraphs makes it much easier for the reader to digest. Consider breaking up long sections with bullet points, draw attention to ‘stand out’ information and be consistent with the formatting of titles and numbering so the report flows and makes sense.

2. Stand out from the crowd

Sometimes it helps to think how newspapers structure their stories; start with an attention-grabbing headline, followed by a summary paragraph containing highlights, followed by the main report with all the detail.

3. What do you really want to say?

How do you want the judges to remember you? How do you want your project to be described? What makes you different from the other entries we receive?
Examples from 2016 include:
‘That was the one where the Central Tube Line was running overground less than 6 metres from the boundary and they were working 11 storeys up’
‘That was the one where he had to protect the swans who he found nesting on his site’
‘He had a motorbike accident and attended a project meeting by video days after being released from hospital’

4. Use your words wisely

You have a limited word count, so think about where the emphasis should lie. When it comes to factual information, state it concisely and keep it to the point. Then when it comes to the parts that really make you stand out you can be more elaborate in your storytelling.
When you re-read your report, consider each word and be strict with removing words that don’t add anything to the story.

5. It’s about you

CMYA is unique in the way we are rewarding people, not projects. Your report is about you, the actions you took, the way you engaged stakeholders, decisions you made. Whist we realise how important it is to have a great team behind you, make sure you don’t lose focus or underplay your part in the story.

Good luck to everyone! We look forward to receiving your entries.

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