Checklists in the Cloud vs Project Management Software

So let’s start this piece by asking the question, What is a Project?  The Project Management Institute defines a project as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”.  They go further to say that “… development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster , the expansion of sales into a new geographic market— all are projects… and all must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organizations need”.

Over time lots of project management software have emerged to enable the enforcement or at least encouragement of the execution of good project management practices.  And those trained in the following of these practices are familiar with the terminology and processes.  Many small business owners and humans in general are not.

In business there are many endeavors that can be considered projects and which deserve the rigor and tools needed for project management.  However, in business there are many scenarios where all that is needed is a list of items to be checked off as they are done.  These lists may represent a process which is repeated at regular intervals like Payroll processing, the deployment of software to production, or the purchase of ingredients to make a pastry.  They may represent less regular though frequent activities like employee onboarding/termination.  They may represent an audit worthy process like procurement or processing a loan application.  For these types of scenarios project management and project management software are not always necessary.  A simple set of “checklists in the cloud” can provide a simple approach for providing visibility to work and ensuring consistent execution of work.  General management may be applied, leveraging this visibility to ensure consistency of quality and timely execution.  So having visibility throughout the organization of these checklists add a powerful benefit.

Checklists software, when implemented properly in the cloud provides an extremely simple, yet powerful alternative to the training, infrastructure (org structure, processes and tools) and complexity of using PM software to handle many business scenarios.

Checklists are used everywhere in business, whether written down or not.  Some examples in addition to the scenarios above include:

  • Biz Start up
  • Team task list
  • Room Cleaning Checklist
  • Flight Safety Checklist

They are as simple as giving a name to a list, adding the items, and checking them off when done.  A certification to create a list and check off items is not needed.  Training on how to give a name to a list, add items, maybe assign items to a human is not needed.  Training on how to make sure the correct humans are notified when items are completed on the list or comments are made on items is not needed.

Leveraging the flexibility, training-free, affordability, and insane simplicity of “checklists in the cloud” throughout an organization provides a key to unlocking a treasure chest of quality improvements in the modern company!

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