Mobile checklists are the go-to tool for preventing costly mistakes such as forgetting certain steps or getting distracted on the job. Almost all industries, from construction to health care, have relied on these because of business benefits such as:
- Better Time Management – Checklists allow employees to remain more organized. They also ensure tasks are handled quickly, efficiently, and accurately.
- Higher Motivation Levels – Employees feel motivated to take action as these lists ensure minimal mistakes and, ultimately, increase their chances of success.
- More Opportunities for Creativity – With repetitive tasks handled by checklists, employees will have more time and energy to think clearly and take part in creative activities.
- Enhanced Security – Checklists have proven to save lives in different industries. Not only do they help detect hazards, they also ensure important actions are taken on time to reduce risks.
While paper checklists also deliver these benefits, they may be counterproductive because of the inefficiencies of paper. That’s why forward-thinking enterprises have made the shift to mobile checklists. In addition to improving business processes, mobile checklists are quicker to customize, simpler to track, and easier to integrate with business systems.
To help you design your enterprise’s mobile checklists, here’s the four-step checklist which MiracleTek’s experienced form designers follow.
1) Plan Your List Thoroughly
Planning is one of the important steps for ensuring the success of checklists. It will take more time than the actual design process, but it’ll ensure your lists are effective and used by employees. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Identify ALL the Mistakes Causing Failure – Many enterprises only focus on significant causes of failure. However, you should list down all the issues which could hinder a process and assign their priorities.
- Seek All Stakeholders’ Input – Have everyone involved provide their ideas on what should be checked. This will help you determine the design of your list as well as its content.
- Determine the ‘Do’ Steps and ‘Talk’ Steps – ‘Do’ steps are reminders for carrying out a certain action, whereas ‘Talk’ steps are those which engage users and require their input. You can separate these by using a multi-tabbed form. List the Do steps on one tab and the Talk ones on another.
- Make Sure the List’s Objective is Clear – Clarify the goal of your mobile checklist, be it reducing hazards or gaining insight on employee safety behaviors. There are several ways of handling this aspect, such as logically grouping steps.
2) Mobilize Your List of Steps
Once you agree on the steps in your checklist, it’s time to begin designing it for mobile devices. However, this step isn’t as simple as you may think. Using the wrong controls can affect the experience of your employees and make your list useless. To avoid these issues, here is a quick overview of the most common controls you can use.
- Text Field – Useful for ‘Talk’ steps, this control allows users to type in data such as their observations or factory address. Use these to a minimum, however, to prevent users from typing too much.
- Autocomplete Text Field – ‘Talk’ steps can also be improved by autocomplete text fields. Possible options will be displayed as users type. In addition to reducing input errors, this control effectively reduces time spent on the list.
- Date and/or Time Picker – With a date and/or time picker, users only need to tap on the field and select the date and/or time where prompted.
- Segmented Control – Mainly used for ‘Do’ steps, segmented controls allow users to tap on the correct option. These controls can be configured to allow multiple selections as well, further reducing data entry time.
- Signature Panel – You need to include a signature panel for your employees to sign off the document before submitting it. Not only is this essential for complying with best practices, a signed checklist indicates proper procedure was followed.
- Image Picker – This control enables your employees to include images to certain types of checklists such as warehouse inspection checklists. This is useful in different scenarios, such as providing proof of why their checklist indicates poor safety measures.
3) Make the Necessary Integrations
Once you’re done with the check list’s design, it’s time to integrate it into your enterprise’s IT infrastructure. Ideally, the platform you use to create your check list should support the following at the very least.
- Data Entry in Database – Checklist submissions should be automatically stored in your enterprise’s databases. This reduces the chances of costly mistakes such as human error or misplaced data.
- Email Reporting – Data presented in the form of branded PDF reports should be sent to specific employees such as supervisors. In addition to creating an electronic trail which can be useful during audits, these reports increase accountability since they are delivered directly to supervisors, managers, or similar employees.
- Workflow Integration – Workflow tools such as Microsoft Flow complement check lists. They track activity, due dates, outstanding jobs, and much more. As a result, they improve the productivity of every member of the workforce.
- Business Intelligence – Data collected through your list can easily be analyzed for valuable insights since it’s already in electronic form. By integrating business intelligence tools, decision makers can avoid many risks and ensure success further.
4) Put Your Checklist to the Test
In addition to ensuring your mobile check list is functioning properly, testing allows you to refine it until it’s user-friendly. User experience is crucial as it determines whether or not your workforce will use your list. Ideally, you should test it on a small group of employees, ranging from supervisors to field workers. You can then use their feedback and observations to improve the checklist on the fly before publishing it on all users’ devices.
By following these four steps, you can easily create effective and user-friendly mobile check lists for your enterprise. If you need more help, though, you’re welcome to contact us to create your forms and checklists for you.
Stay tuned for more tips from MiracleTek’s experts.