Checklist Best Practices

  1. When you’re making a checklist, you have a number of key decisions.
  2. You must define a clear pause point at which the checklist is supposed to be used.
  3. You must decide whether you want a DO-CONFIRM checklist or a READ-DO checklist.
  4. With a DO-CONFIRM checklist, team members perform their jobs from memory and experience, often separately. But then they stop. They pause to run the checklist and confirm that everything that was supposed to be done was done.
  5. With a READ-DO checklist, on the other hand, people carry out the tasks as they check them off–it’s more like a recipe.
  6. So for any new checklist created from scratch, you have to pick the type that makes the most sense for the situation.
  7. The checklist cannot be lengthy. A rule of thumb some use is to keep it to between five and nine items, which is the limit of working memory.
  8. The wording should be simple and exact; use the familiar language of the profession.
  9. Even the look of the checklist matters. Ideally, it should fit on one page.
  10. It should be free of clutter and unnecessary colors.
  11. It should use both uppercase and lowercase text for ease of reading.

Kaynak: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Atul Gawande

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