What Makes A Good Checklist?

Open Loops posted an excellent How to Create a Better Checklist article last month. The piece outlines how NASA makes heavy use of checklists and what they consider to be an effective list.

It’s interesting just how resistant many of us are to using lists (or at least to using lists consistently:

“Some might feel that the use of checklists insults their intelligence.  They feel that they know what to do and don’t need a sheet of paper to tell them.  However, checklists ensure that things are done in a systematic and consistent way when time is short, the pressure is on, and we are more apt to make mistakes.  They take the thinking out of routine and emergency tasks and help us accomplish what we need to do much more quickly.  Since I’ve been using checklists to standardize how I start and end my business day, as well as accomplish routine tasks, I’ve been more consistent, reliable, and complete.”

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