Checklists & Christmas

| December 22, 2011

Every year we do a Christmas dinner party – a three-course English Feast with Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding and a dessert we call “The Amy” (Butter Tarts with Stilton Cheese).   The menu is set and draws its inspiration from my husband’s heritage (England and Canada) and my Midwest upbringing (Iowa).  We have been doing the same meal for the last 15 years.

Once I started developing and implementing management systems, I could not resist applying management system theory to this event.  I developed a Christmas Party Checklist.  This checklist sets out the various tasks that need to be done and has blanks for assigning responsibilities and checking off each task when it is done.

Why do I use a checklist?

One year, I found the strawberries for the appetizer course still in the refrigerator when I put the leftovers away.  Another year, I had to scramble to find the meat platter while the guests watched from the table.

This checklist helps the party go smoothly and, more importantly, it helps me relax and actually enjoy the party because I know I am not going to forget anything important.

The morning after the party I make notes and additions to the checklist and file it away for the following year.

So what does this have to do with OHSAS 18001?

Checklists are an important part of a management system.  As with our Christmas party, they prevent you from missing important tasks.  They also help make your job more manageable and enjoyable – that is, if they are done right.

Want to learn more about creating effective checklists?

Click here to check out my previous blog and sign up for my mini-course (starting January 16, 2012) focused on checklist creation.

p.s.  It was a great webinar Tuesday on ISO 19011:2011 – The Impact on Management System Auditing. Thank you to those of you who participated and submitted questions for the Q&A.  Come back here next week for a link you can use to view this presentation.

© ENLAR Compliance Services, Inc. (2011)

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Category: OHSMS Auditing, OHSMS Documentation

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