By Scott Weaver | April 16th, 2023
Checklists have become an essential tool for professionals in various industries, including pilots, doctors, and even baseball players. These professionals rely on checklists to ensure that they perform their tasks accurately and effectively, minimizing the risk of errors and accidents.
As a 787 Captain and former F-16C fighter pilot with over 40 years, I can attest to the importance of using checklists in the aviation industry. Before every flight, we use what we call “trigger and flows.” These are predetermined actions that we take based on specific triggers, such as the seat belt sign coming on 10 minutes before departure. In response to this trigger, flight attendants start their pre-departure demonstration, while in the cockpit, my crew and I perform our final preparations for engine start.
This method allows us to streamline our processes and ensure that we don’t miss any critical steps before takeoff. We also use checklists for various other procedures, including before landing, during emergencies, and for routine maintenance checks.
Similarly, doctors also rely on checklists to ensure that they provide the best possible care for their patients. Studies have shown that using checklists can reduce the likelihood of medical errors and improve patient outcomes. Doctors use checklists for various tasks, including before surgery, during patient assessments, and for medication management.
In the world of baseball, checklists and predetermined actions are also essential tools for players. Baseball players have their own set of triggers and flows, based on what is occurring on the field. For example, the term “dance with the pitcher” refers to a batter mimicking the movements of the pitcher as he gets ready to deliver the pitch.
As the pitcher’s leg lifts, the batter’s front leg lifts or transfers weight to their back leg to pre-load. This predetermined action is a trigger and flow response that helps the batter to anticipate the pitch. It is just one of many predetermined actions that players use throughout a game to ensure that they perform at their best.
In all these professions like pilots or surgeons, the use of checklists and predetermined actions can help professionals to perform their duties accurately and efficiently, reducing the risk of errors and accidents. These tools help to streamline processes and ensure that all necessary steps are taken, even under high-stress situations. In baseball, players can use checklists to help increase their chances of success, but streamline their thought processes and approach to an individual task.
In conclusion, checklists are an essential tool for professionals in various industries, including pilots, doctors, and baseball players. Whether it’s before a flight, a surgery, or a game, checklists and predetermined actions can help professionals to perform their tasks accurately and effectively. By using these tools, professionals can improve their performance and reduce the risk of errors, ultimately resulting in better outcomes for everyone involved. Now go design your checklist for success!