Using Checklists

By Robert Robillard on Contractor Advice



Do you use check lists in your profession?

A few weeks ago I was listening to Harvard Medical School, Surgeon Atil Gawande talk about his book The Checklist Manifesto on National Public Radio.

Dr. Gawande discussed the complexities of surgery and how many things there are to keep in one’s head and remember. He related that doctors are human and like many other professions they miss stuff. “There are a thousand things that can go wrong, we are inconsistent and unreliable because of the complexity of care,” he stated.

Gawande explained how as an experiment they brought a two-minute checklist into operating rooms in eight hospitals, and received great results. The average number of complications and deaths dipped by 35 percent.

Checklists Catch Problems

The last statement I heard on this on air interview was Gawande stating, “I have not gotten through a week of surgery where the checklist has not caught a problem.”

Well I definitely want to read this book but it is going to have to wait in line. Between the holiday gift giving and a co-worker I have a 6 deep supply of books to read this winter.

Checklists Work In Carpentry Too

As a carpenter I find that lists and check lists help me organize and help my jobs run smoother. Especially when there are many different trades people involved.

A construction supervisor who doesn’t keep a timeline schedule relies heavily on the trades to determine the status of a job and on building inspectors to verify the quality. If progress isn’t monitored on a daily basis, bad or unfinished work can go undetected and slip through the cracks. This can result in costly problem correcting or adding steps out of sequence.

Deadlines can also be jeopardized by not making sure the daily goals are met. This can result in a project not being finished on time resulting in a disgruntled customer.

Checklists can increase the chances that a building or remodeling project will be finished on time and in a quality manner.

Do you use check lists in your profession?

If you do how?


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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