Automated Checkout

118 Step Checklist

by Steve Deal on May 1, 2012

I like checklists a lot.   We use them for many kinds of tasks – computer builds, monthly maintenance, setting up new users, and lots more.   A checklist represents our ‘Best Practices’ – it’s the combined knowledge of all of us available to each of us.

Each of our checklists has a critical, last item -“Revise this checklist”.   This makes checklists an ‘active’ process – feeding constant improvements back into the process to benefit every Customer.

The checklist above is one we got from a Customer.  It’s fabulously detailed, and allowed even new employees to create a very detailed, very accurate report.  The 118 entries look like these:

  • Enter the following formula (overwriting the information that is already there): = <move cursor to row three of the new, untitled column to the left of the “Annual Premium” column> * <move the cursor to row 3 of the “Split” column and press ENTER>           Note:  The formula will resemble:     = J3 * M3
  • Count the number of applications for the Carrier and put the number here.  You can either count the applications manually or enter a formula:  =COUNTA(top cell address:bottom cell address).  Please note that you can avoid typing the cell address by using the up arrow key to place the cursor on the top cell address, holding the shift key and using down arrow key to place the cursor on the last cell and then pressing ENTER.
  • The right section will be used to indicate the page number and the total pages of the report.  Type:  Page # of ++     For # you will press the # key above the center section.  For ++ you will press the ++ button above the center section.  These keys will automatically calculate the number of pages.
  • …etc. for 115 more entries

We were tasked with improving this process, which took several hours each week.   We first automated the download of the data from the iPipeline Agency Integrator website – it now happens every day at 6am.  We then created a Microsoft Access report, which essentially captured all the formatting instructions into one place.     The new checklist:

  • Click this button on your desktop

I couldn’t bring myself to add “Revise this checklist” !

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: