Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 6:43 am on
If you ever had the rare opportunity to be in the cockpit of a commercial airliner prior to takeoff, you would undoubtedly have noted the dialogue between the co-pilot and pilot as one reads the list and the other performs the check. As a student pilot I learned of the value and importance of checklists. Starting with my first lesson, my instructor continually stressed that a safe pilot never trusts the pre-flight check process to memory. During my days of training, I can remember reading dozen of stories in flying magazines about how something forgotten ended in disaster.
There is a lot to be said for using the checklist approach in managing a business. Although setting & executing a job or a process from memory may not necessarily produce an unsafe or disastrous result, it can end in a product or process that cannot be sold. Documenting the details of your jobs and processes and using a systematic checklist can help you avoid costly mistakes.

The following is a partial list to suggest some of the things that might be documented in the form of a job specification:

  • Approval Dates
  • Customer(s)
  • Dimensions (Size, Capacity, Weight, etc.)
  • Formulas & Ratios
  • Job Type
  • Line Speed
  • Location of Approved Samples
  • Package Labeling
  • Packaging Count
  • Packaging Details
  • Possible Production Lines
  • Process Description
  • Process Machinery
  • Process Machinery Settings (Dimensions, Pressure, Temperature, etc.)
  • Product Code
  • Product Description
  • Product Name
  • Qualified Operators
  • Qualified Set-Up Personnel
  • Special Customer Requirements
  • Special Tooling
  • Staffing (Number & Descriptions)

Documenting your jobs and processes is only the beginning. Insist that your supervisors and staff methodically use the documentation to check their work!

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