Another approach to desk checking is code reviews and design reviews. Both these practices are a great help to the project when they are done with a spirit of ego-less inquiry. I believe we would save a tremendous amount of time in rework and bugs if we did more design reviews and code reviews.
My thinking is the idea would be to develop it as standard practice so the question is always when. not if. the review would be done. Leadership in this area can be really helpful. I think a great deal of the benefit of the review is the designer or programmer explaining his approach. The process of explaining leads to psycho-clarity. When the programmer puts his ideas in to spoken words, they become clearer to the person.
Giving and receiving feedback during these reviews is important and will be the subject of a future post.