Many readers are aware that I am a proponent of using checklist-style office procedures manuals in the law office. I urge all lawyers to read Atul Gawnde's The Checklist Manifesto.
But sometimes it is difficult to convince busy people that they should prepare checklists for tasks that they already know how to do and do frequently. Why take the time? Well, for one thing you are archiving your knowledge so that others in your business can adopt the best practices and don't have to reinvent the wheel. Not surprisingly some hear that as "we want you to dump everything you know into our procedures so it will be easier to replace you." For many people that would then sound like a poor idea. It is all in how you look at things, isn't it?
But checklists and procedure manuals are for you today − not some future generation. They let you perform routine tasks more quickly and more perfectly, freeing up time for more challenging − and valuable − pursuits. Preparing a checklist also helps you improve your process. There is something about writing it down in the proper sequence that helps you see ways to do things better.
So the National Law Review provides a great example today. Lawyers know that site visits to your client's business locations are good for client relations and help the lawyer better understand a client's business operations. But everyone knows how to pay a courtesy call, right? Please review Client Site Visits: Checklist for Success, This is great example of how even something "simple" like a site visit to a client's location can be significantly improved with a checklist. (You might want to visit promptly and print off or otherwise save a copy. I'm not familiar with NLR's paywall policy.)