Why Checklists?

BY IT GLUE | July 09, 2018

How much documentation does your team manage? If you have a mid to high documentation maturity level, and are truly leveraging the power of documentation within your MSP, then the answer is probably a lot. So why use our latest feature, Checklists? Because there is simply too much information for you to efficiently manage without using it.

Keep track of friction points

What processes always seem to generate the same recurring problem? What tasks continuously lack good communication? Use checklists as a way to identify these friction points, and then prevent them from causing more problems. With so many tasks, it can be difficult to consistently have all members of your team on the same page. Using a checklist bridges that gap, and ensures that every team member understands the task, and their role in getting it done.

Don’t forget about the small things

It’s easy to focus on the bigger, overarching aspects of a process – the stuff you can’t afford to miss. But focusing your mental energy on the big steps leaves you vulnerable to missing the small, very basic steps – and missing those leads to significant problems.

If you haven’t read Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto, that book was something of an inspiration for this feature. It outlines how checklists are critical for keeping teams on point during the execution of complex tasks. Checklists are famously applied in professions such as medicine and the military, where complexity is high, timelines tight, fatigue is a factor, and errors have potentially fatal consequences. That might not sound too much like setting up a workstation, but that’s the point. If using checklists gets the job done under military and surgical conditions, they’ll help you get the job done, too.

Get your team on the same page

With so much information being spread between a variety of co-dependent tasks, how do you make sure everyone is on the same page? Checking in on team members is one way to go, but not only is that unreliable, it wastes a significant amount of your time. Instead, a consistent set of checklists ensures that your team always knows what needs to be done to complete a task, and whose responsibility it is to do so.

By creating checklists for your routine tasks, you can give yourself the confidence that the basic steps won’t be missed, and you can still focus on the tasks that feel more pressing. Checklists ensure your team remains accountable to every step of the process, even ones that seem less important than others.

Hold up your end of the bargain

You’ve made promises to your clients, and using a checklist keeps you accountable to the promises you’ve made. In order to maintain, and further, your customer relationships you’ll need to build a reputation that speaks to this punctuality and reliability. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing clients.

On the other hand, you can use checklists to not only tell your customers what you’re going to do for them, but show them how you’re going to make sure it gets done. Using checklists as evidence for your reliability is a sure way to keep your clients business – and generate more.

Checklists in action

We know the importance of checklists, which is why we created IT Glue’s very own Checklists feature. Managing your documentation is now easier than ever. Checklists offers you the ability to create and assign tasks, which assignees can find in their personal “My Tasks” section.

Consider onboarding new clients. This might take place several times a month, and probably relies on a variety of team members to complete the process. You can create a checklist that covers each aspect of the onboarding process, and assign them to the individual in charge of completing the task. If anyone is unavailable for the task, they can reassign it to someone else to ensure it doesn’t get missed.

Take your checklist one step further by creating a checklist template for your onboarding process, which can be accessed and used any time you need to onboard a new customer. No longer do you have to chase down team members to ensure they know what tasks need to be completed, by when, and by whom – instead, they can find that information in IT Glue. To learn more about the Checklists feature, schedule a demo of the platform by clicking below

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Documentation is a source of competitive advantage. When your processes are well-documented, they move from being individual knowledge to team knowledge. You execute consistently, and do not waste time looking for information, because it’s always at your fingertips. Companies with a high level of documentation maturity enjoy higher revenue growth, increased cost savings and superior valuations.

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