Let’s start with a simple Tally Sheet where we’re counting up all the interruptions we received trying to get some work done – perhaps the boss has been complaining we’re taking too long. So we draw a simple table with headings for each day and each type of interruption. We then mark it for each occurrence – no fuss or ceremony, just a simple mark each time. At the end of the week we have a simple record and it’s patently clear that the main interruption is the boss. We can also see variations for each day and a potential correlation between coffee and comfort breaks. Are Tuesdays when the boss is around most (perhaps he/she has a report to submit that afternoon each week)? Do we always drink more coffee on days starting with a “T”? Do more interruptions by the boss mean we miss lunch? Continue this for a few weeks and we may see some clear trends which could identify where we can take action.
That’s a fairly simple example but, I hope, it illustrates the potential.
The second type of Check Sheet to consider is more commonly known as a Check List. This is a list of actions to be completed (or items to be checked, etc.) that usually follow a set sequence. As previously mentioned, pilots use these before, during and after flights to ensure they follow the correct procedures; auditors use them on audits to ensure they cover all the points on their plan; they are used when dispatching or mobilising equipment to ensure everything required is included. Some are quite complex and stretch to numerous pages, others can be quite straightforward and on a single page.