Solutions: Classic Update Patterns

Hello again,

Well done for completing the Classic Updates Challenge. Here are the solutions and suggestions for you.


  1. What key features are common to updates that use the logical grouping approach?
    All of the above is the correct answer. They must include a CTQ (context, trigger and question), a clear synthesis of the main point, and MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive) supports. This is true of all storylines.
  2. In preparing to create your end product, you should think about:
    All of the above is the correct answer. It will save you a lot of embarrassment, frustration and rework afterwards if you think about the scope, nature and tone of the end product, your audience (who they are, what they need to know, how they like to hear it) and your own objective: what outcome are you seeking?
  3. Why would you choose a grouping storyline?
    All of the above (yes, this is again the correct answer!). Here's why:
    – Grouping storylines are more robust than deductive storylines
    – Groupings enable you to compartmentalise your supporting points
    – Groupings are more powerful if your story is long
    – Groupings are simpler than deductive storylines, both to prepare and to read
  4. When would you choose to use a deductive storyline? 
    Yet again, ‘all of the above' is the correct answer. Here's why:
    – Deductive storylines are powerful when you must convey bot the rationale and actions in the same piece of communication
    – Deductive storylines enable you to take your audience on a journey through the data to persuade them in a way that groupings do not
    – Deductive storylines enable you to demonstrate that no other avenue will work: but be sure this is the case before you use this approach.
  5. You work for a famous department store and need to provide an update to the Board explaining why sales performance was poor last quarter.
    Sales were very weak indeed, perhaps due to the unseasonably cold weather or possibly because of the state of the economy. The clothing department fared badly as did cosmetics, homewares, and electronics. You can't think of a solution but need to tell them what went wrong.
    You have been allotted only 5 minutes to present, as the Board are also busy dealing with a takeover bid from a predator.
    Which structure would you use?
    In this case, we recommend using a logical grouping. Here's why:
    – You have a series of reasons to convey
    – You do not have actions to accompany the reasons
  6. Another quarter has gone by, and the cold weather has continued into November.
    You need to provide an update to the Board explaining why sales in some departments (small electronics, toys, books) have been good, while sales of summer clothing have remained poor, and what you could do about it.
    You have been allotted 5 minutes. The Board has fended off the takeover but is now keen to start turning the business around to capitalise on Christmas spending before the upcoming summer holidays.
    (It is usually hot ‘Downunder' in the lead to Christmas and before our summer break during January)
    Which would you use?
    In this instance, we recommend using a Logical grouping with deductive supports. Here's why:
    – You have a series of business areas that you need to discuss
    – You have different information for each: in some areas you need to explain why sales have been good, and therefore there is little to be done, whereas in others there is work to do to increase sales


Visit neosi to try using our Classic Update patterns. There are four different patterns inside the software. It enables you to check out the four most commonly used patterns, choose one and then be guided by a series of prompts while you build your storyline. This stops the need to think from scratch.

Once your storyline is complete, neosi will also convert it into your choice of Word or PowerPoint documents. Click here to log into your trial account, and use your email and clarity123 as your password (as was set up for you when you signed up for this course).

If you have any questions about neosi, feel free to email us at

Gerard and Davina



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