I have seen from the calendar that today is the Checklist Day. So why people need checklists?

In the book written by Atul Gawande "The Checklist Manifesto" people can make mistakes from two different main reasons:

  1. Ignorance: Basically we don't know all the processes and systems that run this universe.

  2. Ineptitude: We have some knowledge on processes and systems but we fail to apply it correctly.

For the second reason until the time we leave those tasks to machines we need checklists.

What is the history of checklist?

As you can imagine the first use of checklists started in the airline industry. After a Boeing Model 299 B-17 crashed and killed people in 1935, at the post-crash investigation, it's been discovered that the pilot had forgotten to do a simple task; turn off the elevator lock. So that became the reason we started to use checklists.  

Checklists can be helpful in many ways:

  • Mistake proofs our actions

  • Avoids negliance

  • Sets the correct sequence

  • Keeps you focused

  • Keeps you alive

How to prepare a checklist?

Preparing a checklist is simple:

  1. Meet with the operators of the process/system that you are going to prepare the checklist

  2. Write down every activity on post-its and stick to the board

  3. Go through every step and ask "what could go wrong"

  4. Add additional steps

  5. Document the checklist

For number 3 you can use FMEA-FMECA to check "what could go wrong". Check the FMEA in the FAQ

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