Power Of A Simple Checklist To Reduce Mistakes

4 Min Read
Power Of A Simple Checklist To Reduce Mistakes

So how can the power of a simple checklist reduce mistakes in business? Checklists may seem too simple of a solution and are often overlooked as a way to reduce mistakes and boost efficiency.

When you have a checklist, you don’t have to wonder about what needs to be done next to you just look at your next task and start work! Checklists are incredibly satisfying, ticking something off triggers dopamine in the brain which is connected to feelings of pleasure and motivation.

Checklists are great for making sure things get done and recognising that the power of the simple checklist within a business can have revolutionary effects!

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Why A Simple Checklist Reduces Mistakes?

We all carry around an enormous amount of knowledge and experience that we want to apply effectively, but we are all prone to make mistakes. There’s only so much we can store in our heads without forgetting something. How to maximise our use of knowledge?

The simple answer to this problem is to use checklists.

Achieve More Consistent Results

Accepting the necessity to use a checklist can be hard or somehow insulting to our intelligence. If in a position that you rely on skills and knowledge can feel a failure if refer to checklists. But by humbling ourselves by using a checklist can improve performance and help us achieve more consistent results.

“Just ticking boxes is not the ultimate goal here,”

The main purpose of the checklist is to help people stay disciplined in their business processes, follow standard operating procedures, and avoid simple mistakes.

Understand Role In The Business Process

Checklists can make people better at their jobs, save time and makes people understand their role in the business process or procedure ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Checklists are best suited to work that’s repeated often and in a predictable order.

Repetitive processes within the workday that has many steps that are easy to forget. Knowing who is responsible for each task and a standard operating procedures are being followed.

Checklists help establish habits whether in business or life. Every time you tick off a task it’s like giving yourself a gold star the more boxes you check off the more dopamine is produced.

Powers of a Simple Checklist

The checklist should be precise, efficient, and easy to use. These key points can make sure checklists can be used as an effective tool for cultivating business standards, sharing knowledge, saving time and reducing errors.

Checklists can help you can achieve.

  • Reducing Errors – Ensure the basics arent missed.
  • Knowlege – Share knowledge, free up your mental resources, create and share best practices.
  • Business Standards – Encourage routine and clear standard process management of tasks.
  • Time Saving – Save critical amounts of time by planning workflow and prevent duplicated tasks.
  • Define Roles – Whos job it is and when the checklist be used.
  • Prioritising – Identify what needs to be done first

Before you create checklists, it helps to know what goals need to be achieved by using a checklist.

Checklists are not set in stone and not always perfect from day one they need constant revision based on how it performing.

Checklists WORK! The Checklist Manifesto

Why do we know checklists work? According to Atul Gawande who explores this in his book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

“They remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit,”

Dr. Gawande carried out a research project funded by the World Health Organization to test the effects of a simple checklist on reducing central line infection rates during surgery.

The checklist was incredibly small and simple that has been taught in basic training for years (example: Wash hands, Clean patient’s skin etc). Yet when one of these simple but important steps were accidentally missed it lead to severe increases in infection rates or death.

Once the simple checklist was implemented, all hospitals had a significant reduction in infection rates.

The power of a checklist isn’t exclusive to doctors and medicine. Atul Gawande describes other examples of checklists like pilots (Pre-Flight Checklist), chefs, architects, and investors.

Failures of ignorance we can forgive. If the knowledge of the best thing to do in a given situation does not exist, we are happy to have people simply make their best effort. But if the knowledge exists and is not applied correctly, it is difficult to not be infuriated

Atul Gawande – The Checklist Manifesto

Your business processes may not involve life-and-death outcomes, but you can gain the same benefits by using a checklist to organise your business procedure and tasks.

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