Pryzblo’s Discussion – Case Study

Case study for correcting an email

The Context
You manage a factory’s personnel department. A few days ago, you discussed a problem with Donald Pryzblo, who manages the data processing department. Recently, the company’s computer began issuing some payroll checks for the wrong amount.

Your and Pryzblo’s departments work together to prepare each week’s payroll in a somewhat antiquated way. First, your clerks collect a time sheet for each employee, review the information, and then transfer it to time tickets, which they forwards to Pryzblo’s department. His clerks enter the information into the computer program that calculates each employee’s pay. The computer then prints the checks. The whole procedure is summarized in the diagram below –

Factory —- Time Sheet —- Your Department (Personnel) —- Time Tickets —- Pryzblo’s Department (Data Processing) —- Database —- Computer Program

Pryzblow’s Email
I have been reviewing the “errors” in the computer files. Contrary to what you insinuated in our meeting, the majority of these errors were made by your clerks. I do not feel that my people should be blamed for this.

They are
correctly copying the faulty time tickets that your clerks are preparing. You and I discussed requiring my computer operators to perform the very time-consuming task of comparing their entries against the time sheets from which your clerks are miscounting.

My people do not have time to correct the errors made by your people, and I will not hire additional help for such work. I recommend that you tell your clerks to review their work more carefully before giving it to computer operators.

Donald Pryzblo

In your conversation with Pryzblo, you proposed a solution he didn’t like. Because you two are at the same level in the company, neither of you can tell the other what to do. You have to work together to prevent incorrect checks being printed in the future. When you turned on your computer this morning, you found above mail from Pryzblo.

The Task
Read the Pryzblo’s email very, very slowly – so slowly that you can focus on the way that you react to each sentence. If possible, cover the email with a sheet of paper. Uncover and read one sentence at a time, recording your reaction to each sentence as you go.

When you are finished reading, write out a message board response in which you list the reactions you experienced while reading. Then write a few sentences evacuating the effectiveness of Pryzblo’s email. Finally, identify three changes one could make to Pryzblo’s email to make it more reader-centered.


The report focuses on the communication and relation between Manager of the personnel department and the Manager of the factory’s data processing department. The primary issue faced by the managers in the current situation is related to the creation of some payroll checks of wrong amount by the computers installed in the factory.

The whole process of the workflow is analysed to assess the situation and then react to the task provided in the Instructions. The communication effectiveness has been analysed and suggestions have been provided at the end to improve the same.

Reaction to the mail Received from Pryzblo’s
While reading the Email, from Pryzblo’s, many reactions triggered in my mind. The beginning itself made me confused as to how Pryzblo executed the reviewing process for the “errors” in the computer files.

The process contains various factors and to review each some common methodology must be set and communicated to pears. Added to that, Pryzblo, without having scrutinizing the entire process came to the conclusion of errors generated by clerks in the personnel department.

The mentioned “error” in the mail could have occurred at any point of the entire procedure such as Time sheet, Personnel Department staff, Time Tickets, Data Processing, Database and Computer program itself.

Protecting one’s staff must not be the priority when process of the Factory gets affected by unidentified mistake at any level. Also blaming the other staff at the factory for preparing faulty time tickets without any proper analysis will most likely result in non-performance.

To clearly analyse the situation it is necessary for us to scrutinize one step at a time beginning with the comparison of the raw data with the one that is uploaded into the database for the calculation. Also it is known that this rectification process will consume time, but on the other than it will surely remove the “error” from the system and will make it smooth again.

To clearly understand and correct the situation both departments must work together. As per Pryzblo, his staffs do not have the time to correct the errors and he also does not want to hire new help. Time must be contributed from all the people involved in the process to cross check the flow and rectify the “error”.

To begin with the scrutinizing process, I will volunteer my staff to first check the process at our end to come to a conclusion that the error is not in our part, and then will move forward to compel Pryzblo to do the same at their end to correct all the mistakes in the process.

Evaluation of the mail from Pryzblo’s
The mail received from the data processing department’s manager, Pryzblo, seems to be ineffective as it lacks the research and analysis done on the basis of which the conclusions have been projected about the source of the errors in the procedures of payroll calculations.

Adding more to that, the effectiveness is also lacking in the part of solution to the given problem. The email, addresses only one side of the story and most of it reflects saving of the staff related to the manager directly from the blame, no proper solution has been arrived at which can guide as on how the current situation been faced by the factory can be resolved.

The mail to be effective must have contained a proper methodology of analyzing the current situation and arriving at conclusion of finding the error and then explain or suggesting the process of dealing with the same.

Suggestion’s to make Email from Pryzblo’s more reader-centered
It is suggested that the mail from a representative/ Manager of a department to a colleague must be more suggestive rather than being opinion oriented.

The email should have included all the work done in finding out the areas of error as concluded in the mail. The mail must have addressed the “error” with importance and must have written with solution oriented mind-set instead of blame. The mail seems to have been written in defensive measure to save one’s team from the extra work and the blame of creating error.

Last but the most important, the manager if facing shortage of resources in terms of manpower, time or money, he must try finding help in the areas from his pears, rather than fully side-lining from the process of the solution itself by ignoring the fact that the “error” could have occurred at any point of the whole procedure followed to prepare the payroll.

By – William – Technology & Professional Blog Expert (Contributing Author)

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