Choose a Checklist to Improve Your Process

Build Consistent Practices Using Checklists - Not Procedures Guides

A procedures guide can be incredibly valuable - just watch the pilots in Sully walk through their procedure when both engines were disabled.

Project procedures guides are often full of incredibly valuable content - but so long and detailed that nobody opens them up. Don't throw them away though - just pair them with checklists. A checklist can distill fifty pages of procedure into a single page because it DOESN'T describe HOW to do something (such as a stakeholder analysis) it simply asks IS IT DONE?

Read this Project Success Factors checklist. If you can answer YES or NA to every item, you'll know that you are following the procedures. If you find some items that you can't confidently check ("A detailed risk analysis has been performed") then refer to the procedures guide.

Promoting consistent project management practices within your department is the fastest way to improve overall project success. Project management training will show people what to do and why it is important. Reinforcing the training with regular checklist-driven reviews will build the habits that lead to results.

This project management issue was inspired by a question posted to the LinkedIn project manager community.