The power of a checklist…
Never underestimate the power of a checklist in improving efficiency.
When used correctly, a checklist is invaluable.
I’m sure that you have activities in your business that you do over and over again. I am also sure that there will be days when it seems that something is always getting forgotten or overlooked in a task that should be second nature. This leads to frustration and needing to make time to correct something that should have been done the first time. Productivity goes down and costs go up.
The trouble is that it is second nature. You do something over and over again and you get to the point where you become unconscious competent and can complete the task without thinking. This is when mistakes start to happen.
A checklist can help you prevent errors when you get to the level of unconscious competent. A checklist can stop steps or tasks getting overlooked from inattention. You might be familiar with the task enough that you don’t need to refer to it while you undertake the activity, but going through it once you think you are done could save you in time later. You might work your way through the checklist and see you have completed everything. Good. Or you might work through the checklist and see that you overlooked one small thing that could cost you later. By having the checklist you have the opportunity to fix that error before it becomes even bigger!
There are also bound to be times where you are trying to get something completed and you are faced with countless interruptions. You try to get back to what you are doing, but lose time trying to remember where you are up to. Then once you figure it out you are interrupted again! And the cycle continues.
A checklist can help you improve efficiency in times of interruption. Instead of trying to figure out where you are up to, you can refer to the checklist and continue with the next task on the list.
I am also sure that where you have a process that is completed by multiple people, that almost no one will do it the same way or in the same sequence unless they are following a guide or a checklist. Some will work faster than others. Some will make more mistakes than others. A checklist can help to ensure that everyone is completing the process in the same sequence. A checklist can allow you to optimise that sequence to be the most efficient for the tasks required. A checklist can help to ensure that everyone is completing all of the steps necessary in the most efficient manner.
So where could a checklist be of benefit to your business to improve efficiency?
I use a checklist every time I start writing up a new pattern for my crochet business. I can tell you at a glance if the pattern has photos taken, is in draft or completed and which websites I have published it on. Sometimes it might be days between each step and I am usually writing up more than one pattern at a time. My checklist has been invaluable for remembering where I am up to and which step I need to do next.
Maybe you can’t see where a checklist can be of value? That is where I can help too. It is my super power to identify areas where efficiency could be improved and I can visualise each step. I can help you develop the checklists you need.
Do you need a checklist but don’t know where to start? Reach out to me…I would love to help you…