Checklists help ensure we do something consistently and to deliver that same result everytime. It is the same for your business.
Mike presents some ideas and tips to help you create the checklist manifesto for your business.
You’re going to hear a lot about checklists today. SystemHUB is the place to store them. I used to fly a bit and even if you’ve flown 10,000 hours, you are not allowed to take that aircraft off the apron until you’ve been through your checklist. It does’nt matter how good you are, how experienced you are, how well you think you know the checklist, you have to go through the checklist.
Aviation is probably better at that than any other industry. Has anyone read Atul Gawande’s awesome book The Checklist Manifesto? Yes, I thought in this room there would probably be a few readers of that. He talks a lot about doctors. Trying to get doctors to use a checklist was like pulling teeth. But eventually they did and what do you know? Incidents, problems dropped away.
I created a few too many the first time I did this. Dave will remember this. This was on the wall of the office. Each one of those lines is a system. It’s not the system; each one of those lines is a separate system. Each one of those may be two to fifteen pages of ScreenSteps and pictures and nobody used them. It was way too detailed and it was a mess. Dont do that. SystemHUB didn’t exist then.
This bloke, Tim Francis who is now a really good mate, made a distinction for me from Atul Gawande’s book which I hadn’t picked up from the first time of reading it. There are two types of checklist. There is read-do checklists, read it and do it, and there is the do-confirm checklist. This is what the experts in your business, this is what we should all be doing.
You don’t follow the steps of fifteen pages, because how often are we going to actually do that? As entrepreneurs, we’re just not wired that way.
It’s great if you can hire a paralegal to create all those systems for you and they love all of the detail, but generally, we are not wired that way. A do-confirm checklist says just go off and do the work and then come back and just check these three things at the end. We’re talking, say, Infusionsoft. Go and do it, build the whole thing. If you know that test email landed in the right email box, then let’s assume everything else was set up properly. Do it all and confirm that last little bit.
This is a much better way to treat checklists when you’re dealing with experts. You’re not treating them like you have to do every single step. They know how to do it. Just give them that little confirm checklist at the end.