January 22, 2019

Keeping it simple

When creating a checklist like the one I described yesterday, it’s tempting to dive into lots of detail and try to document it all.

Resist this temptation. Instead, aim for “as simple as possible, but no simpler“, as Einstein might have said.

A good way to achieve this is to think of the outcome you want from your checklist item, then describe it as the activity you need to do to achieve that outcome – the way you would if you were writing a checklist for yourself at home.

For example: “Open Office”; “Fix PC”; “Sign up Client”.

This makes the purpose of each activity clear. It also makes it very clear when it is done. There are no intermediate steps – the office is either open or not, the pc is fixed or not, the client is signed up or not.

This also works at any level, from the lowest: “Open Door”, “Turn off Entry Alarm”, to the highest: “Share Promise”, “Keep Promise”.

Plus, it makes it easy to give someone a meaningful whole job to do.

You might even find you no longer need that travelling checklist.