For the past few months, I’ve been reviewing our work processes to evaluate why, where and when we’ve hit our mark and missed.
Time and again, I’ve come to the conclusion that our processes would greatly improve with new, improved, and more checklists.
And, strict adherence to them.
We use checklists throughout our marketing engagements such as “Countdown-to-Go” checklists for new store, new product and new campaign launches, but sometimes we move too fast to please our clients and fail to either take the time to create or use a checklist. Simply put – to quote the old adage – “When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Simple as that!
We usually deliver high results, but with better processes the question is, “How high is up?”
How much better , faster, cheaper could we have executed a campaign if we flawlessly executed our plan leaving no stone unturned?
Well, today is National Checklist Day (sound the trumpets) and I’ve been preparing for it by reading Dr. Atul Gawande’s, The Checklist Manifesto.
Gawande makes a great case why even experts need checklists – the complexity and speed of things today make simple checklists necessary.
His belief is that the smarter we get, the more we take things for granted. And, checklists can close these gaps in flawless execution.
Throughout his book he offers case after case examples with pilots, surgeons and a myriad of other professions.
We need checklists because we all communicate poorly. For example, the majority of us often make these three serious errors:
- We leave out important information assuming that others know it
- We’re not specific in our directions again assuming that others understand us
- And, sometimes we fail to be clear and concise in our directions because we don’t want to insult others
Checklists can compensate for these failings.
Moreover, if you want to extend your intelligence and train others to do the right thing at the right time, you need checklists for everyone to follow – to keep everyone on the same page.
So, we’ve been working on detailed checklists for Website launches, email campaigns, public relations campaigns, creative briefs and more.
How about you? Do you use checklists in your profession? Are you sold on using them more frequently?
I’m sold once again. Check that!
P.S.: Here’s a checklist for checklists!