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A Checklist Collaboration Exercise

Posted on by Brandon Klein

What if you need to read a book fast? Implement its meaning, its intent, its message right away?  

Divide the book up. Create a shared text messaging document creator (we used www.cel.ly) and capture your thoughts in text size bites all to one location with multiple brains working simultaneously.

Here are the notes from a Checklist Manifesto - link at bottom:  

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Under Conditions of complexity, not only are Checklists a help, they are required for success. There must always be room for judgment, but judgment aided

GOOD CHECKLISTS ... are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything - a checklist cannot fly a plane. They provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps - the ones that even the highly skilled professionals using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.

BAD CHECKLISTS ... are vague and imprecise. They are too long; they are hard to use; they are impractical. They are made by desk jockeys with no awareness of the situations in which they are to be deployed. They treat the people using the tools as dumb and try to spell out every single step. They turn people’s brains off rather than turn them on.

Lesson: Pick the right type of list. 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.

Aviators have a FOURTH expectation: DISCIPLINE in following prudent procedure and in functioning with others. Accomplish this through checklists and other industries should follow suit p182

All professions have codes of conduct with 3 common elements: selflessness (accepting responsibility for others); skill (knowledge & expertise); trustworthiness.

Hospital survey found checklists decreased rate or major complications for surgical patients by 36% and deaths fell by NEARLY HALF (47%) pg154

CHECKLIST DECISIONS: 1) define a clear pause point when checklist is supposed to be used; 2) decide whether you want a "do-confirm" or "read-do" checklist; 3) decide how long it should take to complete (preferably 2 minutes or less; 4) how will you test and refine the checklist? p122

Van Halen used an M&M checklist. Awesome p80

BALANCING CHECKLISTS: one set to "ensure the stupid but critical stuff is not overlooked" and another "to 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" p79

"Under conditions of true complexity-where the knowledge required exceeds that of any individual and unpredictability reigns-efforts to dictate every step from the center will fail." p79

Lesson of Hurricane Katrina: "The traditional command-and-control system rapidly became overwhelmed. There were too many decisions to be made and too little information about precisely where and what help was needed." p75

Should be same approach for Stadiums: checklists allow us to delegate simple steps so that knowledge weavers are ONLY involved in communicating and solving complex or unexpected problems.

builders "trust in one set of checklists to make sure that simple steps are not missed or skipped and in another set to make sure that everyone talks through and resolves all the hard and unexpected problems" p70

"In the face of the unknown-the always nagging uncertainty about whether, under complex circumstances, things will really be okay-the builders trusted in the power of communication...They believed in the wisdom of the group...of multiple pairs of eyes." p67


Construction project checklist "designed to build the complex up in layers" (pg 62) by each of 16 trades involved. What are the necessary layers for Stadiums?

Medicine still operates in Master Builder era... do DesignShops, process facilitators and "experts"?

Death of "Master Builder" era: when advancements of construction process overwhelm abilities of any individual to master them pg58

Do you need a checklist? Ask: when to follow judgement & when to follow protocol (checklist) pg 51

3 kinds of problems: simple, complicated, complex (where outcomes are uncertain). Pg 49

2 reasons we fail: ignorance & ineptitude