Where is the Checklist?

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   One of the key elements in insuring that all of the tasks are completed in a timely manner is the use of the checklist!  I was out of state last week and spent several nites in hotels.  Interestingly, every hotel desk clerk had a checklist to use to complete/insure completion of all of their assigned tasks.  I was in a coffee shop the other day and the staff there also had a checklist to insure that all of the tasks were being completed.
   Do you have a checklist for all of your folks?  This is a simple idea that pays handsome dividends and insures that all of the tasks are done.  Let’s review why a checklist is important, not only for the staff member, but also someone like you, the leader of the organization.
   Check lists detail and identify all of the tasks that the employee is expected to do during his/her shift.  When created in a manner which identifies the task, what and how it is to be accomplished and then signed off on by the employee, you know that the task is done.  If the checklist is signed off and the task is either not done, or done improperly, you then have the written documentation to use with staff to improve performance.
    Pilots fly airplanes with checklists.  Each and every take off and landing, a checklist is used to insure that all of the steps, controls, levers are set and positioned in the correct position so that the take off or landing can be uneventful.  It makes no difference if the pilot is flying his/her first ride or has been flying for 44 years, a checklist is the key to safe operational procedure.
    No matter what business you are in, developing and using a checklist is the key to smooth operational procedures!  We have worked with clients that have spent considerable time developing checklists from opening in the morning to closing at night, with each and every process in-between identified and checklisted.  The initial workload is quite significant, however, once completed, the use of the checklist provides a significant return on investment (ROI) for the time that you spent.  If you want to insure a smoother overall operation, less snags and greater profitability, the development and use of checklists by all of your staff is a “no-brainer!”
    Think about the pilot and the checklist.  If it works to fly an airplane, it will work in your business as well.

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