Taking a page from Dr. Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto, DMC has released its own set of common task checklists.
Gawande, a surgeon, makes a distinction between errors of ignorance and errors of ineptitude, blaming most modern mistakes on the latter. Failures occur not due to what one doesn’t know, but because people do not properly make use of what they do know. Gawande researches highly complicated tasks including performing surgery, building skyscrapers, and flying commercial airliners, determining the best way to avoid simple mistakes in a complex endeavor is to employ a checklist.
The book details the author’s work with the World Health Organization to implement a safe surgery checklist around the world, and its staggeringly successful results. Skeptical “experts” become checklist champions after avoiding potentially disastrous oversights due to the checklist reminder of “everyday” tasks.
At DMC we consider ourselves experts in our field; however, the complex level of technical proficiency involved in much of our work is exactly the type of exercise that leaves commonplace tasks open to error, according to Gawande. Hey, even we make mistakes … sometimes.
We started by defining common tasks and detailing all of their components. After choosing the most-performed tasks and condensing the components, we arrived at a deck of ten checklists. To increase the impact of the reminders, we added icons as visual cues for lists spanning everything from “Daily Planning” to “On Site Project Trips.” Finally, we published the DMC Checklists in single, ring-bound form as well as poster form for use both in the office and on-the-go.
“Checklist” may not have the most exciting connotation, but it is more than a mundane to-do. By transferring routine items to checklist form, we are able to focus more energy on complex tasks while ensuring we don’t miss a beat. Ensuring that we improve our personal performance? Advancing collaboration with each other and our clients? Providing enhanced service to our customers? Check yes.
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DMC Checklists from DMC
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