Why do we need checklists in our workplace?
There are not that many ways how to guide yourself into an overwhelmingly busy world. Complexities that come into business world when managing the individual needs of our clients and colleagues need structure and organization. Checklists are very useful in our daily life, and they are a powerful tool in business.
It is hard to believe that something as simple as checklists can help with the complexities. We believe our jobs cannot be reduced to a checklist. But checklists help with the memory recall and clearly set the minimum necessary steps in the process ensuring that all the steps are completed and none are skipped, establishing the higher standard of baseline performance. It is so easy to skip important steps without even knowing it!
Checklists can help to provide protection against failures and errors. They remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance.
Checklists not only help us avoid mistakes, but aid us in keeping our independence. It can help us move from task to task without being afraid to forget something, without relying on someone’s guidance. It can give us the feedback of where we are in our tasks and how much work is needed to be done to call it completed.
Checklists are great in managing uncertainty, not only in separate tasks and processes, but in a group setting too as not everyone is good at explaining the tasks to others. Group collaboration and transparency increases if everyone knows what is expected from whom. At the end it helps to provide effective feedback.In our everchanging world checklists will change too. Even the simplest checklists will need to be revised from time to time. Don’t forget to put them in a visible place and, of course, don’t forget to use them!
Article inspired by Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right