Monday, 20 July 2009

The return of checklists

When we sit back in our chair in the office and review what has been taking place during the day we sometimes find ourselves wondering how much better we could have done things – don’t we?

One of the tried and tested ways to make the working day more effective and more efficient is the use of checklists. Whilst we have probably realised this for ourselves the issue of concern is how we (and our colleagues) stop following the checklists so easily – how do we make checklists that stick?

The simple answer is to create more effective and more meaningful checklists than we had previously. If you recall the continuous improvement cycle you can see how this fits in – we tried it one way and it didn’t work – so let’s try it a bit differently.

If you start with areas of your organisation that keep failing you will be able to create checklists that may be warmly greeted. If it helps people to reduce their running around and reduce hassle from customers then there may well be an incentive for people to start using this particular checklist.

If getting people to follow specific routines using checklists is difficult then we can consider making the adherence of these checklists even easier. Two options that come to mind include keeping the printed checklist at the place of work, or if it is computer based - creating your checklist through the use of templates – effectively allowing people to modify their work rather than creating from scratch.

Whichever way you choose to proceed, finding ways to keep reminding ourselves and our colleagues of the correct (and complete) sequence of actions to do a first class job can pay big returns to our working life.

Smartspeed Consulting Limited
'For When Results Matter'

C'mon! Just write the SOP!