Checklists: Boring But A Necessity
And actually, really useful ...
Checklist sounds boring, don't they? They conjure up images of grey-suited inspectors going around filling them out, or busy people not paying much attention to what they are doing ...
Checklists may be boring but they are a necessity! They can be really useful ...
copyright: andreypopov / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
Checklists do not have to be long, tedious, a pain to fill in, stopping you from getting on with your real work. They can, in fact, save lives, be short and sweet and essential to help get the job done more effectively and efficiently.
In The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, many examples of how checklists are used in aviation, surgery and finance industry are given.
In aviation, for example, there is a checklist for everything, both electronically and on paper. They help stop the pilot forgetting to do one of the many tasks they need to do in order to keep the plane flying.
More importantly, checklists outline emergency procedures, so when something goes wrong, they know how to respond!"
In surgery, a checklist can stop a big problem like operating on the wrong side of the body, all the way through to making sure there are no complications with the patients care.
In the finance industry, investors who make millions of pounds use checklists to help improve their productivity. In one company they created a checklist for assisting them to make decisions as to whether they would invest in a company or not.
This includes using lessons learned information from previous investment mistakes in an effort to stop them making the same mistakes twice or more times.
Another financial firm has a 3-day checklist, with which they turnaround the time from starting to research a company, to actually investing in just 3 days. This is incredibly efficient and has meant they can evaluate many more investments in far less time than prior to implementing the checklist.
"So, how does this help you?"
Well, if you have specific things you do in your business or at home that are complex or require lots of memory space, then why not create a checklist for it?
I have been meaning to implement a checklist for when I go see clients in my other business All About Quality for quite a while now, and reading Atul's book has been the boot up the rear I needed to make it happen.
This is because I know that it is easy to forget things when implementing systems, and yes, the same mistakes do crop up time and time again as it is currently left to the human memory to remember all the steps you need to go through.
When creating a checklist, it is best to keep it short and to the point, so there's no need for long overly complicated lists according to Atul. When performing surgery, for instance, time is of the essence, and long checklists would just hold up the process of getting the patient better.
So why not give it a go and see if a checklist can boost your productivity?"
If you feel you need a hand developing your checklists, give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in business and personal life.
This has led me to productivity and how I can be the best I can by devouring hundreds of blogs and books on the subject and practising meditation and mindfulness techniques. Combined, this has helped me understand what needs to be done to improve the performance of processes and more importantly you.
If you would like to know how I can help you please call me on 01858 414226.