Checklists aren't a panacea. They can be very useful in many situations, but in many cases they won't help. Sometimes, using checklists can hinder and slow work. Sometimes, it is downright dangerous to use them.
So, when do you use them?
Well, checklists can serve several purposes. You should consider using checklists in the following scenarios:
1. When you perform routine tasks and the price of skipping a step is high. It takes willpower to consult a piece of paper / software when you keep doing it over and over. So, you need to have a good reason, and ...read more
For many people, when they are asked to answer what the term “checklist” conjures up in their minds, the word “bureaucracy” will come to mind. And in a way, these people will be right. A checklist is a form of bureaucracy. We’re going to spend more time in the future talking about the benefits of checklists, but for now, suffice it to say that providing a pause point is one of them.
Bureaucracy isn’t all bad. It’s just done in an awful manner most of the time. If done effectively, it can actually improve productivity and increase ...read more
Writing checklists is easy, right? You just open up your favorite text editor, start writing items as bullets, and then change the shape of the bullets to be little empty squares. That’s it. Just print and you’re ready to go!
But the world is full of terrible checklists. In fact, most people never use a checklist more than once or twice. There are all kinds of excuses, usually pertaining to lack of discipline. But while discipline is important, most of the blame can be placed on the checklist.
Usability expert Steve Krug captured the essence of making things ...read more