Alignment Labs

Using Checklists to Improve Results

Using Checklists to Improve Results

I read another interesting book recently, “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande. The author shows how a simple tool, a checklist, can help organizations avoid errors and improve results. Gawande is a surgeon and he was asked by the WHO (World Health Organization) to come up with a low-cost way to improve surgeries across the globe. After a great deal of research Gawande came up with a simple checklist. The results were pretty staggering. This simple step caused an incredible decrease in infections and many other post-operative problems that plague surgeons.

I immediately thought of several areas where a simple DO-CONFIRM checklist could help improve customer service and results for Astonish clients. The concept is simple. Checklists ensure the stupid, but critical tasks are not overlooked. Are there any “stupid but critical” tasks in your business? I’m sure there are. In a fast paced environment, memory and judgment can be unreliable. Checklists help make sure tasks which are critical to success happen every time without fail.

My suggestion is to examine your business for areas where your employees drop the ball. Every business has these areas. Put a simple checklist in place. It doesn’t keep your employee from thinking, but allows them the freedom and security of knowing balls are not dropped.

Comments (7)

  • Joshua Glenn Wilson Reply

    I have only recently begun to really appreciate the value of checklists in my own working life, and you’re absolutely right. The VP of Marketing for AR has really pushed me to start utilizing checklist tools like BaseCamp HQ, and it has made a TREMENDOUS difference in my workflow, work ethic, and necessary level of coffee intake (which has dropped significantly).

    Thank you for the Atul Gawande book suggestion… Purchasing the eBook now.
    Stand together, Captain.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm
    • John Boudreau Reply

      It’s a great book. I’m always looking for ways to be more productive. There are some great tools out there. What I liked about Gawande’s book is that something so simple can make such a huge difference.

      January 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm
  • Martin page Reply

    Can you please try to make your blog fully mobile-phone accessible?
    I can only read the left portion of every post.

    January 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    • John Boudreau Reply

      Thanks for the feedback and taking the time to read my blog Martin. I’ll look into it.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    • John Boudreau Reply

      Martin – I know you asked this a while ago, but I’ve updated my site to be viewed on mobile. Thanks for the feedback.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm
  • Don Phin Reply

    John- it is an excellent book and one reason why we have so many checklists on HR That Works. If anyone wants my checklist for Avoiding Making Mistakes I’d be glad to post it or pass it on. You or they can just email me. best, Don

    February 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    • John Boudreau Reply

      Don – I’d love to see it. Feel free to post it here and thanks for ready my blog!

      February 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm

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