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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 is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

  1. Mike Lopez says

    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. Mark Graban says

    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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