As a young engineer in the mid 90’s, I was asked by the management to co-ordinate the work for a certain sub-system implementation of the Nuclear Power Plant in this country. Needless to say I embraced the opportunity immediately.
You can imagine I did not know I was running a project. This is something I realized much later, when I was reading PMI’s definition of what a project entails.
The work was governed by our department heads and proper procedures were in place, many having been customized from the original Canadian project.
Looking back, today I realize a vital step was missing: some would call it high-level process flow, I prefer to call it a checklist.
As I was at the time very young, I felt it essential to check each little step. I was doing micro-management, and trying to perfect each procedure; and at the time I fought hard to have the checklist we designed approved and in place.
Let me enumerate some benefits we had, because of how systematic I was during the entire process.
– We did not have to redo any work
– We observed errors in time and corrected them. This was the time AutoCAD had been just introduced here and many drawings were still done manually by technicians, so errors were many.
– The whole department was asked to use the checklist template we had created for their work, and so it ended up as a little project plan.
PMBOK states that a checklist (a form of check sheet) is one of the 7 basic quality tools. Based on my 20 years’ experience now, I can certainly second this! So good luck in using checklists to your advantage!
by Marian Oprea, PMP ®
A guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge Fifth Edition, ISBN 978-1-935589-67-9