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Updated by Nick Kellet on Nov 13, 2015
Headline for How to Create Good Checklists (via checklist manifesto)
Nick Kellet Nick Kellet
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How to Create Good Checklists (via checklist manifesto)


Use READ-DO checklists (read each step, then do it) when users have limited experience with the process.Use DO-CONFIRM checklists (do the steps from memory, then pause and check) when users have memorized most of the steps.If you have both types of people using the process, create both types of checklists.
 (e.g. If X happens, talk to Bob and Amy about Y).This is one of Gawande's most interesting lessons from other industries like construction.In truly complex situations – where no single person has the required knowledge – dictating every step from the top down will fail, but so too will individuals acting in isolation.Communication checks strike the necessary balance between freedom and discipline.They 'ensure people talk and coordinate and accept responsibility while nonetheless being left the power to manage the nuances and unpredictabilities the best they know how.'
Like most things, you won't get your checklist right the first time.Pay attention to what steps are tedious or confusing, and fix them as you go.
Spelling out every step turns off people's brains.Focus on critical steps needed to prevent common mistakes.
 (e.g., did you set the AdWords budget on a per-day basis?).