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How to Use Checklists to Deliver High Quality Outputs

30 December 2008 Posted by in category: Effectiveness with Tags , , , , , , , ,

checklist Checklists help to deliver high quality outputs by recognizing routine procedures and must-have attributes of these outputs. Checklists have several more benefits and they are easy to create and use. Here is how to get going:

What is a checklist

Checklist is a list of items (names, characteristics, tasks etc.) you check or consult when performing a task. It is used to make sure that the output is complete and consist, that no mandatory attributes has been forgotten. For example, you can use a checklist of activities you must take before publishing new content in your website. This might include spellchecking, review by others, adding tags, adding picture, writing an extract and so on.

Some Benefits

Using a checklist provides these benefits:

  • Standardization – it helps keep outputs standard when more than one person is involved or when one person produces many items over time (for example, blog posts).
  • Prevent cognitive overload – it frees your mind from the the routines so that you could think about the main activities and process innovations.
  • Continues improvement – as new insights, activities, and attributes are added to the checklist, your outputs will improves.
  • Collective learning – people who are new to the process can use the checklist to learn it and to avoid reinventing the wheel.

When to use it

Most processes do not require using a checklist. You should, however, use it in the following cases:

  • When the output must be of high quality and there is no room for mistakes.
  • For complex operations, especially routines ones, which parts of them might be forgotten.

Building and using a checklist

Here is what you should include in your checklist:

  • Unobvious things – things that are not an integral part of the process and might be forgotten.
  • Very important things – such as brand attributes.
  • Things that have been forgotten in the past.

Note that your checklist will be growing for some time until it gets stable.

To use it, simply go through all the items in it and apply them. Remember that you have to consistently use your checklist for it to be effective. This might be hard sometimes, but high quality requires effort.

Example

Here is an example of how I use checklists. As a student, I had a checklist for each phase in a course lifecycle. Throughout the semester I used it to make sure that I didn’t forget important activities, such as skimming through reading materials at the beginning of each semester, reviewing graded assignments in the midst of the semester, and using special leaning techniques when studying for the finals.

Have questions? Insight you would like to share? Feel free to Post them in the comments.

1 Response to “How to Use Checklists to Deliver High Quality Outputs”

  1. craig 2 January 2012 at 6:27 am (PERMALINK)

    types of checklists that are used in hospitals and why

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