A simple tool that can save over a billion dollars of mistakes
The Six Percent Entrepreneur
A simple tool that can save over a billion dollars of mistakes
February 24, 2021
In this episode we share a simple tool that will help you reduce errors and save a lot of money.
So I'm gonna share a simple, simple tool that is going to help you reduce errors, reduce anxiety and save you a lot of money. So before I reveal what the simple tool is, I'm gonna share how I came across this tool during my graduate internship at the World Bank. I was helping the front office for the Human Development Network revamp all their business processes. So we mapped out all their business processes. 

We made a process map, and we were looking at fixing all the areas with bottlenecks. And one of the things that we learned is one of the bottlenecks is Ah, lot of people were just missing reviews because they were forgetting to do it or there was not any kind of communication. And when one project it's handed to another person and that person is supposed to review a project, the reviews don't happen. And that was like a huge bottleneck in the process at the time. 

Working at the World Bank, my manager, he recommended that I read a book by a tool Guan Di called the Checklist manifesto, and in the checklist manifesto, they had a lot of fascinating stories. How using checklists have helped prevent a lot of errors. And ever since then I have building checklist for almost every business process that I use. There is an art and science to building a checklist, however, and we'll cover what that art and science is. But to speak to the value of building a checklist, there is a doctor, doctor prone, a boast from Johns Hopkins Medicine. He went out to try toe fix a huge problem with hospital-acquired infections. Hospital-acquired infections are often avoidable, but what happens is many doctors. They just simply forget to wash their hands and, because they forgot, forget to wash their hands. They are more higher instances of hospital-acquired infections. Hospital-acquired infections actually cost the country 2.3 billion per year, and about 100,000 people die needlessly from hospital-acquired infections. So Dr. Provos, what he did is he wrote a five-step checklist, and after using this checklist for 27 months, they saw the 10-day line infection rate go from 11% straight to 0%. 

They've taken this experiment and replicated it at other hospitals as well, and other hospitals saw the same type of success, where hospital-acquired infections were all of a sudden going down to 0% and this was all fixed through a checklist. So a checklist, no matter how professional you are, it would be common sense even for a doctor-toe. Wash their hands all the time, but without a checklist. Without that reminder, they might already think they have already done it, or it just might slip their mind altogether. So there's an art and science to developing a checklist. And no matter what you use a checklist for, it will help you make sure you complete tasks with a level of confidence. 

So there's two types of checklists. One. There's a redo checklist, and then there's a do confirm checklist. So the re-do checklist. That's something that you're actually reading off, and as you're reading it, you check them off while you're doing it. I do confirm checklist is this is something you probably already have a lot of intuitive experience, and you're doing it yourself and you're just overlooking You're looking at the checklist just to make sure that you're actually taking the right steps. So for a doctor that has this five-step checklist to make sure that he can reduce hospital-acquired infection rates. He's probably using a do confirm checklist where he checks off that yes, he can. He can confirm that he watched his hands, so a redo checklist is useful for novel experiences. A redo checklist. You can use it for new recipes, building a legal castle that you've never built before building IKEA furniture. All these things require a redo checklist because it's a novel experience and you wanna go step by step and make sure you're getting all the steps in. Uh, do confirm checklist is for an intuitive experience. 

So it could be like airplane takeoff and landing, taking your medicine, a medical diagnosis that doctors give, even writing out an email. And these are things that are very intuitive to you. You've done them hundreds and hundreds of times, but you still make the simple little errors because it's easy to forget we're human after all. So even for writing an email, you might want to have a checklist for how you want to actually send that email. So it's most effective. So does your email have a signature? Does it have a subject title that hooks the reader? Make sure that the reader will actually read it. Does it address the person by name, and whatever criteria is important to you, you could have that checklist. Another thing to remember is when you're building a checklist, you want to have no more than 5 to 9 items on the checklist, and this is because you're working. Memory is limited to 5 to 9 chunks, and leaving a checklist at 5 to 9 will be much easier to fill out and less overwhelming toe fill out. You also want to keep your checklist very simple and easy to read, so don't make it over-complicated. 

Try to simplify as much as possible so the checklists are actually useful. And you're not having to struggle with trying to figure out what the checklist is supposed to help you do. So if you come across like a huge checklist, Ah, 100 task items is probably going to be really overwhelming. You're not gonna want to do it. Break down that checklist into groups 5 to 9 groups, and then if you have more checklist items that you wanna add, then making a new checklist within each of those groups. So if you want more information about checklists, check out the book checklist Manifesto by a tool. Guan Di. You could probably find some nice summaries online as well. That will help you develop these checklists and happy building, and I'll see you guys in the next episode. 

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