A Guide to Creating a 4 Blocker (four blocker)

unsplash_peas150I am a big fan of using the 4 Blocker for reporting and presentations as it keeps it easy to write, concise, and simple for your reader. Below I explain the 3 advantages of using the 4 Blocker and include 2 examples on how they can be used. 

Easier to write
By breaking your story into four main sections, it makes you think conceptually on what you are trying to cover. It also works as an outline to get you going on completing the presentation or report. And the boxes do not need to be all the same size as some sections do require more information. You can size the boxes to best fit your needs, as long as you keep the overall box shape.

Keeps Presentation Concise
Keeping your subject or story on one page forces you to consider what is the most important information you want to share. And, having your idea on a single place ensures the reader sees the full picture you are trying to convey. If you have too much information for a page, consider breaking your content up into two subjects or stories. What is important is that each four blocker can stand on it's own. Another option is an addendum (or link) for those that want to read the details.

Simple for Audience
By breaking your subject up in four pieces, the reader can quickly understand the purpose of the presentation at a high level. It also provides an agenda of what will be covered and gives them an option to zero in on what they want to read (assuming they are reading on their own and you are not presenting). 

Example 1: Status Report of an Effort

Achievements
(Past Accomplishments)
In Progress
(Present Activities)
Next Steps
(Future Activities)
Challenges
(Issues and Risks effecting
your effort)

Example 2: Proposal for an Effort

Problem
(What is the problem
or opportunity)
Business Case 
(Why should we do this)
Goals
(What is the 
success criteria)
Milestones 
(When will this be done)

As you can see, the 4 Blocker has many uses. It is a great way to tell your story in a concise fashion, easy to write, and in a way that your reader can absorb.

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