About being sensible

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Throwing down the guantlet with a guarantee

Deirdre Wilson – Friday, September 04, 2015   


We are very good at producing public transport timetables. In fact, we think we are the best at it - so much so that we are now guaranteeing our level of accuracy. Our 100% accuracy guarantee is: If we don't get it right on the first draft, all author's corrections are on us.

Why now? Time works for us and against us. Over time we have refined our processes so that we can produce 100% accuracy at first draft. But over time everyone forgets what a mess timetables can be if there are no processes in place.

We love producing timetables. It is the kind of work that our company is very good at because it requires a robust manufacturing process, it requires an extensive understanding of the product and it requires checklists. Given that we are a bunch of ex-manufacturing design people with an obsession about detail and a passion for a good checklist, timetables are right up our alley!

I will never forget the day we received an email with 300 spreadsheets attached for a new batch of timetables. Daunting, but exactly what our processes are designed to deal with.

The only people who love timetables are those who write them, those who collect them and us. The people in the middle who have to manage them are not so crazy about timetables. So if you know someone who deals with timetables, do them a huge favour and tell them about our guarantee. Spread the timetable love!


At Hothouse Design we love a good book. Here is an excellent example of the power of checklists, become a convert – or brush up your enthusiasm for lists and processes. Use our link to Amazon and the affiliate fees will go to charity:

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
In his latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.

Further Reading

More on value of a good checklist:
- Behind the scenes – Summer Timetables

This post is by Deirdre Wilson, Director of Hothouse Design – Australia's most sensible information design company.
Deirdre applies her background in industrial design and design management to the complex and wondrous projects undertaken by Hothouse Design.

Basics. Know what they are. Get them right. Repeat.

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