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May 16, 2014

Using Checklists to Manage Change

Heather Levin

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©©GettyImages/MarcRomanelli

Executive-checklist-cover_80x125If you've ever led people through a large-scale change initiative, then you already know how overwhelming and complex it can be.

In The Executive Checklist, author James Kerr offers a valuable list of 10 "to-dos" that can guide you through the process of change. This list, created specifically for executives and decision makers, can be used to implement wide-scale transformation in your team or organization.

It might sound overly simple to use a checklist to manage such a complex initiative. But, in the audio clip below from our premium members' Book Insight, the author breaks these ten to-dos down even further by giving readers sub-lists that support each item on the master list.

 

Listen to the full Book Insight in the Mind Tools Club ¦ Install Flash Player.

The advantage of using these checklists is that they help you avoid skipping an important step, or overlooking a key element of the change process. This, in turn, decreases your stress, and increases the likelihood that you'll get your people on board with a successful initiative.

Question: What tips or strategies have you found helpful when implementing change in your team or organization? Join the discussion below!

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6 comments on “Using Checklists to Manage Change”

  1. Checklists are indeed a great tools to use - be that for a large change management process or a big 'performance event'. It takes the worry about forgetting something and you know exactly what is needed and when.

    I encourage athletes to use a checklist before their big events and they can see the value in their workplace of using the same approach to big things.

    How have you used checklists?

  2. There have been times when I've used checklists and other times not. Just recently I was getting really stressed about preparing for a big thing and as soon as I actually wrote out the checklist, I seemed to calm down. Funny that!?!

  3. Bree I have the same experience.Checklists calm me down. I think it's because it gives me a sense of control. It also helps me put into perspective the number of things I have to do vs the time I have to do it in. Sometimes I blow it out of proportion in my mind, and when I write it onto a checklist I realize that it's manageable.

    It also gives me the security that I won't forget anything.

    1. Thanks Mika for sharing your experiences. I agree that using checklists helps to feel more calm and have a sense of control knowing what we have to do and by when. The fact that we can 'blow things out of proportion' and feel overwhelmed may be almost like a default setting. Yet, when we can seize control, write that list, we easily see that the situation and things to do are manageable!

      Personally, I'm an avid list writer and it does make a difference! When I start feeling overwhelmed with all that I think I have to do, I write a list and realize that I can do it!

  4. This is incredible! This post about using checklists to manage change is quite helpful for those who want to have a well-organized and operational checklist of their own. Also it is use to document all the processes and changes in your business and still remained paperless.

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