Consistency

Professions subscribe to various end-user requirements for service delivery to maximise the effectiveness, and robustness of service and end-product.

Various tools are used to by System Administrators to ensure standards.

The Cult of Checklists

[Ref: Checklists Homepage]

The simplest and most maligned tool is the humble checklist. We all use checklists in one form or another as a utility for achieving certain levels of outcome. At minimum, checklists form a structure of items and issues not to neglect and at best present a point in time for communication and evaluation of procedures.

Checklists have become important because:

  1. The human condition is one of finite corporal, temporal resources, [aka we make mistakes]
  2. Increasingly more work requires group, team co-ordination and effort for completion [aka we make mistakes communicating with others, but we need others to get our work done, and number 1 above]
  3. The expanse of technology, knowledge, and skills required to consistently achieve best-quality results, is well beyond an individual's capacity. [aka We really don't know everything related to what we have to do, real life is very complicated, and 1 and 2]

Checklists are a toolkit, and various contrivances of a 'checklist' can either assist us, or just plain create additional (work/barriers) to achieving quality results.

Some directions for effective use of checklists to use it as a tool:

  1. Team co-ordination, reference points allow for task responsiblities.
  2. Set explicit points for review, communications.
  3. Reduce errors of ommission, (leaving out stuff that needs to be done) and indirectly errors of commission (adding stuff that does not need to be added)
  4. Easier to validate, evaluate (we can quickly assess a short list, as opposed to pages of work instructions etc.)
  5. Reduce the influence of Halo Effect (avoid 'major' items preventing you from considering, assessing, performing all necessary items.)
  6. Reduce hours of work into a short form of items
  7. Reduce theory into practise items. (is this a real win?)

Hopefully, this site assists you and your team build checklists that helps to achieve quality results every time. Where short-comings exist in a checklist ensure that failings are known (recorded, communicated) and factored into it's use and redesign.

Warning

The most dangerous part in a car, is the nut loose behind the wheel (the driver.)

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These notes are not going to show you how to setup a secure server, and they just might give you suggestions that will make your setup insecure.