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Lean Principles of Business Writing

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What do “effective” business writing skills mean?

Brian Wasko, author of “5 Principles of Effective Business Writing,” says, “Our world is increasingly dependent on the clear and effective communication of information.” Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to incorporate lean principles into your writing. Since being competitive in business is absolutely crucial to survival, your writing skills can differentiate you and your organization from your competitors.

Business, in general, includes various lean principles, but we’ll focus on those most important to professional writing.

Audience Awareness

Before you begin writing, analyzing your readers is a must. Professional writing is reader-focused, which means that your overall purpose is to meet readers’ needs. Taking the time to analyze your readers in terms of what they expect and need from the document can help you save time and write a clearer document.

Strong Purpose

Though you may be an expert in your field, relaying your points so that they’re emphasized is key. We should also understand that sometimes our knowledge of a topic can hinder our ability to accurately convey the purpose of the writing, because we may assume that the reader understands why we’re writing. To ensure that your document conveys its purpose accurately, be sure to think critically and carefully about what you want the reader to be able to accomplish, think, or understand after reading.


Because readers often have limited time, it’s essential to focus on clarity and conciseness. Clarity involves choosing the right words that convey meaning without overwhelming your readers. This often means choosing words with fewer syllables, and using one word rather than several. A good example of this is the word “utilize”; “use” is the simpler equivalent and means the same thing. In the business world, we often use words that seem to be in fashion, but if we think critically about them, we should understand that they can often muddle meaning.

Just as we apply lean principles in business, incorporating them into our writing can mean clearer written communication. To learn more about lean writing principles please contact Hurley Write, Inc. We look forward to helping you and your team!

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Lean Principles of Business Writing

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