What are your thoughts on checklists? Depending on your industry, business, organization, or your personal experience, your answer may be different. Since we are process improvement professionals, of course we love checklists! If there was ever a group of professionals to love a checklist, it would be us!

If you google “value of checklists”, the front page of the search results will be reviews, comments, stories, blog posts, and other articles referencing (in many cases) Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. We won’t contribute to the many blog posts that review this book except just to say that it is a great read for understanding the value of a checklist.

A solid definition of a checklist is a list of items that you want to review, verify, compare, confirm, understand, etc…

Some of the simplest business process improvements that have been made over time have included just implementing a checklist. Although there are many reasons you may want to consider using a checklist, here are two obvious ones that you should consider.

Consider a Checklist When:

  1. You have routine tasks that repeat over and over again and it is “critical to quality” that they are correct and that no steps are missed. A checklist is also useful if you do not have a technology solution that automatically monitors, detect, and control whether or not a task is complete.

  2. Your business or process has high employee turnover and you are constantly training new employees on tasks that repeat over and over again. Having new employees use a checklist may help reduce errors due to training.

Branner Consulting, LLC can help you identify your key business processes and assist you with developing a checklist that help improve your key performance metrics. Contact us for a free initial consultation to help you get started with improving your business for 2015.