Using Checklists to improve Employee Effectiveness
I needed to register my car on my new address. The car salesman – Sufi called me up and told me that he needed some papers for the registration.
The conversation went on like this:
Sufi: Good morning, Sir. I needed some documents to get the car registered. Can I come to pick them up?
Me: Yes. Sufi, can you tell me what documents do you need for the registration?
Sufi: I need an electricity bill and a voter’s card or ration card or Insurance policy or passport.
Me: [since all the other documents were on my old address] I have an electricity bill and an insurance policy – but the policy is on my old address. However, I have a premium receipt on my new address. Will this suffice?
Sufi: No, you will have to give me an endorsement letter and a copy of the flat agreement where you are staying. You will also have to give me an affidavit – which will cost you some money.
Me: Why don’t you come and look at the documents I have?
Sufi: OK. Sir.
Sufi comes and finds that the documents he required are not available with me. There is a lot of discussion with my insurance agent and Sufi’s boss and his administrative person.
Finally it is decided that I have to apply for a change of address from my new address to old address and again from my old address to new address – to get the document – because the insurance company cannot give me such a letter.
We decide that he comes back after 5 days to pick up the documents.
When I go back home – I find that my passport has the new address and it can become a valid document. So I call Sufi and he comes back and picks the passport and goes back.
I am about to leave when Sufi calls me and says that he forgot to take my signature on a form. So he again comes back and takes the signatures.
Sufi had to visit 3 times to complete one job.
The best way he could have utilized his time and reduced the strain of travel was to have a check-list. If he would have a check-list then all the problems would have been resolved – in a single shot.
I hope you see the importance of checklists and apply it to reduce errors/ customer dissatisfaction and improve efficiency.
Currently where information is available easily, the brain should be used to think rather than to remember. And Checklists help in Doing it the Right the First Time, Every Time!