40+FAB Blog

The need to cross-check

Have you ever worked for someone who seemed to be so pedantic about ensuring that work was checked, double checked, triple checked and then cross-checked? I remember my English teacher in primary school always shouting, “dot your i’s and cross your t’s”.

The older I get, the more I realise the wisdom in cross-checking whatever is done, even if one has become an expert at doing it. It may seem like a waste of time to do that due diligence until you actually realise that you have missed out something so fundamental that you thought was there.

Today, I was uploading some data and it was a really simple step to transfer the names from an excel sheet to the database. I then tried to link the names to a group in the database and it would not work. I spent almost an hour investigating what could be wrong, only to go back to my original excel sheet and discover that I had not uploaded ID numbers with the names which were essential to link to that group. In my mind, I had carried out that step and even though the completion page showed the ID’s missing, I did not see such a glaring mistake because I was not cross-checking my work as I was so sure that I had done it right.

I was in a hurry to get things done, and so the 2 extra minutes I should have spent cross-checking I tried to save by moving to the next step without the necessary review. The only thing was that that two minutes I saved cost me an hour extra trying to sort out my error.

So, what do you do so well that you have assumed that you don’t need to check? Where are you trying to cut time or monetary corners by not double checking? It may get you by for a while, but on the day that it goes wrong, you would have wished that you took the little time it takes to cross-check.