In the many decades of marriage to my wife, we’ve been all over the UK and Europe and have visited the States a dozen times to enjoy long road trips. We’ve seen more national monuments than most Americans see in their lifetime!
For most people, going on holiday can be a time of high stress. Have you got the passports, the cash, the kids? And when you forget something it’s always the other person’s fault.
Mrs G has a secret weapon.
She has a list for going away at the weekend, a long weekend in Europe, a European holiday and the ultimate: the US trip list. The list contains everything of importance. We pack our bags and tick each item off so that when we set off for the airport we are pretty confident we have everything. And so far in 30 years the list has not let us down!
Now it strikes me that the list is just a different form of standard work. A standard in work just makes sure we do a job effectively and safely according to best practice.
Often, we don’t like working to a standard and prefer our own way. However, this leaves us open to both people cutting corners and losing the knowledge and experience of people when they leave work. Which then leads to issues, stress and wasted time. Not dissimilar to those people who depend on their memory to make sure they take everything on holiday.
So remember Mrs G and her holiday list.
If there is no standard, create one.
If there is a standard, then work to it.
And if the standard can be made better, improve it!
Oh, and don’t forget the kids!