SafetyCulture Summit 2020

The Best Checklist Apps of 2020 and Why Your Business Needs Them

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Published September 7th, 2020

The Problem: Low team productivity and performance at work

According to a survey conducted in 2017, there’s about 75 percent of employers say that there are more than two hours of efficient work lost every day. Another research states that 57 percent of employees say that work-related stress makes them feel disengaged and unproductive.

The Real Problem: Team productivity and performance decrease because of inefficient workflows and processes

There are a lot of factors that may contribute to workplace stress such as heavy workload, organization and duties changes, lack of autonomy, and the like. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, poor and inefficient management is the biggest problem that affects productivity at work. This could mean that workflows, processes, and tasks are inefficiently structured, managed, and implemented in the workplace. 

The Solution: Using digital checklists to improve workflows and processes in different industries

In a recent study on healthcare processes, implementation of digital checklists into their daily workflows helps them to replace paper-based systems to a digital workflow that brings about healthcare improvement opportunities. This includes streamlining reporting and tracking processes and even analyzing trends and issues.

Based on a case study conducted for a manufacturing plant in 2016, using a single digital checklist helped them save $125,000 annually. The factors that contributed to this were the increased compliance by 80% in 2 months, reduced both loading and waiting times by 25% and 43% respectively, and reduced backorders by 44% in the operations. The study has also shown that using digital checklists allowed plant and production managers to identify trends and issues that they never thought of existing. Also, this platform greatly helped them fix problems areas. 

In the construction industry, using digital checklists helps accelerate processes and reduces costs by automating methods of tracing losses and inaccuracies. It helps allow more effective communication over records and distribution of tasks. More so, it became a vital part of ensuring the success of a project.

For retailers, using a digital platform mainly helps the staff with store opening and closing, housekeeping, inventory and product checks, and monitoring. On a higher level, technology helps a retail business to improve its visibility of the daily store operations, reduce time in generating reports, and prevent duplicative work that affects employee productivity.

These are only a few studies on the effectiveness of using digital checklists in various industries. As businesses aim to continuously improve and so do these digital checklists. Businesses like hotels, logistics, cleaning services, repair and maintenance, and field services are now implementing this into their processes making their business more systematic and organized.

The Checklist App: Creator of Digital Checklists

What is a Checklist App?

Basically, a checklist app is a software you can use to convert your paper forms into digital checklists. Thus, making it the creator of digital checklists. As technology advances, checklist apps become interactive and structured so that they not only function as a to-do list app but a powerful tool that businesses can use to manage tasks more efficiently and increase productivity across an organization. Beyond streamlining workflows and processes, a checklist app can now be used to gain insights on improving an organization’s quality, safety, and security through regular workplace inspections and reporting.

Here are some needs-analysis questions that can help you determine the value of using checklist apps:

  1. Do you often forget things?
  2. Do you feel that you are mismanaging your time?
  3. Do you end the day with still so much on your plate?
  4. Do you need a single place to put and see all of your tasks easily?
  5. Do you find it hard to prioritize things?
  6. Do you have routine work to be done?
  7. Do you want to see where you currently are with your goals?
  8. Do you want to gain insights into some issues you are facing and to what is performing and not?

What Checklist App Should I Choose?

There are two types of checklist apps that people can use to make their jobs easier, the simple and straightforward to-do list app and the more advanced and structured checklist app. Choosing between these two types heavily depends on what kind of job and outcome you want to achieve in the end. If you want to just rush to the grocery store and not to use a paper to list the items you want to buy, a to-do list app can be the best option for that. Another best example of using a to-do list app is when you organize your tasks through an online dashboard where you can track the tasks that were completed. Having a checklist in your mobile would make things a lot easier and more efficient. 

On the other hand, if you want to use checklists to perform inspections, quality checks, and performance monitoring, you should be using the more advanced checklist apps and software. These checklist apps can be used in your operations from the time your employees start working to the time they need to send reports and progress of the work done and finish their jobs. These tools can also be used in documenting issues, risks, and even hazards that may harm employees at work and then report them immediately to the higher management for solutions. Also, if you want to analyze trends in your workplace using insightful visuals and dashboards to further understand where your business sits, these checklist apps are highly recommended for you.   

What Makes a Good Checklist App?

Manages tasks effectivelyThe main purpose of utilizing a checklist app is to organize the user’s regular tasks and manage them easily. This includes the ability to schedule tasks based on priority, and assign actions or reminders to teams or key persons involved. Also, it should be able to do time tracking to measure productivity more efficiently.

Easy to use – tools that are user-friendly are highly likely to be chosen above the very complex ones. They should be flexible and easy to understand and navigate. Remember that users are switching to digital solutions because they eventually want to escape from the hassle and stress that they get from their existing process. Also, it should easily capture information to let the users spend more time in doing the job instead of spending their time configuring how to enter this information.

Provides a good task visualization – as users want to organize their tasks and prevent getting lost in the sea of information, leading them always to the bigger picture helps them see whether they are winning or losing. Providing good visuals and dashboards can also help them identify risks, issues, and problems that they can act on immediately.

Improves communication across teams – a checklist app is not only used to improve workflow but should be used to communicate and report relevant information to other teams as well. This helps the people within the organization to be aligned with the goals and desired outcomes of a project.

Securely stored and fully accessible – aside from accessing your checklists on a mobile, desktop, or tablet device, all data and information that you put into these apps should be stored and secured in a safe cloud. This greatly reduces the chance of losing your data and effort and most importantly, saving the relevant information for documentation and reporting purposes.