How Many Clicks to Get Home?


I'm on the road alot, as a consultant. I'm flying home to Texas today, so I'm about to check out of the hotel via the TV “On Command” menu. For all of the buttons on this remote, it sure would be great to have a “CHECKOUT” button. I'm sure you've all seen this remote. There are blank buttons that go unutilized even.

To checkout required 10 button presses (or clicks, you might say), 11 if you include one for turning on the TV. If you're designing something from a lean perspective, whether it's a consumer product or in your factory, think about the user. What functions are they likely to use? Put those options first. You could say it's the “don't waste my time” philosophy of Womack and Jones' “Lean Solutions.”

Ok, I did discover the “Hotel” button on the remote. That takes you to the Hotel Services menu, which would appear to save a click or two. So why not a “Checkout” button?

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Adding the Checkout button sounds like a good idea as long as some mistake proofing is done to prevent me from checking out of my room three days before I’m due to leave. I’m thinking two button presses should be the least number. Three or more if you have little kids.

  2. Yes, that’s a great mistake proofing idea. The current system has a final “are you sure?” at the end, the 11th click. That should be the second click after hitting my proposed “check out” button, I agree.

    I stayed at a different Embassy Suites and it had a different system on the TV, only required FIVE clicks. I like that one better obviously, but there was still no “check out” button.


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