Plus! The Standard+Case approach
A guide to the Standard+Case approach to service response.
Basic Service Management is now available in Spanish
This book is about how to run services, in any organisation, in any industry. It describes the basics, the core stuff, in realistic pragmatic terms. And it is pragmatically brief - we kept it to 50 paperback pages.
Find out about Rob's other books.
Many of these ideas come from the most excellent book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, which everyone should read.
A checklist is not a teaching tool
It assumes expertise: it talks the user's language and assumes they know what it is talking about (though supplementary explanations are OK if necessary). The checklist is there to prevent errors of omission not errors of ignorance.
A checklist is used during a single procedure, or at a point in time in a procedure (or set of procedures) . Don't write a checklist for a wide subject area ("Change checklist").
In the title, state what procedure (and what point in the procedure) the checklist applies to.
A checklist used during a single procedure is called a READ-DO checklist: read out an item, do it, check it off.
A checklist used at a point in time or "pause point" in a procedure is a DO-CONFIRM checklist: do what you need to do, then pause to confirm them all on the checklist.
To those categories I'd add a CHECK-CONFIRM category, used in assessment and audit to ensure all accountabilities, capabilities, controls and activities are in place.
State which kind your checklist is.
Then state what the objective of the checklist is.
Keep the checklist simple. Rules of thumb: no more than ten items, or one minute to perform the check.
Some people crave completeness: don't try to put everything in. The Checklist of Checklists says the items should be:
To establish a checklist
For more information on how to do checklists, see a Checklist for Checklists from Dr Gawande. There are some good examples of medical checklists there too.