Using Checklists Effectively

Too many construction businesses needlessly run on razor-thin margins due to poor productivity.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture
Share
Leadership Tools: How Do You View Checklists?

There are many factors that go into poor productivity including:

  • Unnecessary mobilizations to work areas that aren’t ready.
  • Moving materials too many times or inefficiently.
  • Rework to achieve the right level of quality. 

Checklists are a very simple and powerful tool that can be used to mitigate many of these problems.  Checklists are also one of the most misunderstood and misused management tools. Checklists are often used so poorly that they make the problem WORSE!  

  • Do you deeply understand the purpose of a checklist including the history of ‘WHY’?
  • Have you studied the best practices in ‘HOW’ checklists are to be used effectively?
  • Have you worked with your team to develop effective checklists around the key areas in your business or on your projects where you run into frequent problems - the ‘WHAT’? 

Most importantly - are you leading yourself and your team with the discipline of consistent execution; even when things get a little off-track?

It’s worth considering that the first checklists came about in the aviation industry.  With over 30,000 commercial flights per day and each plane having between 367K (737) and 2.3M (787) parts there are VERY few fatal accidents.  Tragically there was one in 2018 but the last one was in 2009 over 100 million commercial flights ago!  


Checklist Manifesto

Black Box Thinking


One of the most effective productivity facilitations we do with teams is to start with our Labor Productivity workshop then follow it with teams developing checklists for key areas of their projects.   


Labor Productivity
Field labor is the often the biggest variable on a construction project - making it the biggest risk and opportunity....

Labor Productivity
Field labor is the often the biggest variable on a construction project - making it the biggest risk and opportunity....

Construction Technology Integration Failures
More construction technology integrations FAIL to meet expectations due to alignment with the talent than the capabilities of the technology. If we looked at talent and technology the same way we look at equipment we would achieve a much better return.
Opportunity Pipeline Target Size: The Basic Math
The biggest leading indicator for performance of a contractor is the size, quality, and trajectory of their opportunity pipeline. There are lots of nuances and complexity to evaluating your pipeline, but it all starts with the principles and basic math.
Stephen Schwarzman - Time Wounds All Deals
Speed is a competitive advantage and a capability that can be built. Contractors work through hundreds of deals each year, including negotiating to win new work, joint ventures, recruiting key talent, successions, and mergers and acquisitions.