How to avoid making mistakes at work?

Your mom probably taught you how to take a proper shower back when you were a kid but it wasn’t until you’ve repeated the same process over and over again that you stopped forgetting to wash behind your ears.

Adults have the same problem. The biggest problem, though, is that they keep forgetting more important (and expensive) things. That’s why pilots have lots of checklists, soldiers have standard procedures, etc.

They can’t afford to make any mistakes. That’s why we firmly believe that as a company begins to grow, simple to-do lists or spreadsheets won’t be enough to keep your team mistake-free. You can minimize the risk of making mistakes by following the following best practices.

How to avoid making mistakes at work to increase quality and efficiency?

Create (and follow) your play books

For every stage of every process, include clear instructions that must be followed and actions to be performed, either by yourself or your team. This will greatly improve your quality of execution. How can you do that? Create step by step guides for each activity and properly map (and improve) your processes as the execution progresses and you learn the best way to do things.

Follow the market’s best practices

Why reinvent the wheel? Imagine what would happen if a young lioness tried to learn how to hunt on her own. She’d surely have a much harder time than if she’d followed on the steps of her mom.

When it comes to business processes, the dynamic is pretty much the same. Discover what the best players are doing to inspire yourself and figure out a way of doing things that would work best for your team. For example:

  • Sales: Always ask your sales reps to inform the size of the deal (small, medium or big?), the expected closing date and a follow-up due date when they create a new sales opportunity;
  • Delegating tasks: Do you remember 5W2H? Before delegating a task to someone, answer these questions to avoid mistakes from lack of communication: What? Why? Where? When? Who? How? How much?;
  • Reporting a bug: What is the bug? Where? What is the severity? Does it affect all the users? Is it a cosmetic bug or does it represent an important data loss?
  • Hiring someone: Follow a checklist to guarantee that you have all the information and documents necessary, the hiring approval, the resources to receive the new employee and that all signatures were collected.

 

How to prepare your routine to avoid mistakes?

  • Map your processes (KISS… keep it simple. Write down what this process is about and add simple steps to describe it);
  • Add short, simple checklists to each of the steps;
  • Add questions that need to be answered on each step;
  • Define a maximum time limit for each step to be done;
  • Define which are the next available steps and when people should choose each one of them.

To avoid these kind of mistakes you can use standard workflows. When managing your processes on Pipefy, for example, you can add instructions and checklists to every phase of your processes. That’s what sets us apart from simple task management tools.

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Written by Alessio Alionço, Tech Entrepreneur | 5+ Years Product Management | Founder & CEO of Pipefy, founder of Acessozero (acquired) | An addicted on technology, books and sports.