Checklist the Docs


The aviation industry has made flying long distances at high speeds one of the safest ways to travel. How did they do it? In part with the help of the humble but effective checklist! In this talk, you’ll learn to adapt the checklist practices of high-risk environments, like flight decks and operating rooms, to avoid mistakes and improve your documentation process.

Have you ever missed an important step that you’ve done a hundred times before, or are you worried that you might someday? Or have you ever repeatedly made the same, avoidable mistake? A well-designed checklist might help you avoid errors large and small and increase confidence in your workflow. In this talk, you’ll learn:

  • How to write a checklist that you’ll actually want to use
  • How to choose the right time and place to follow your checklist
  • How to extend your checklists with automation or teamwork

Inspired by research and practices in aerospace safety (such as “ Human Factors of Flight Deck Checklists: The Normal Checklist” by Degani & Wiener), medical safety (such as “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande), and cognitive psychology (such as “Human Error” by James Reason), this talk will guide you through the process of making and using checklists in the day-to-day work of creating documentation.

From what distinguishes a checklist from a to-do list to developing checklist habits, you’ll learn how to use checklists to help you write the docs.

  • Conference: Write the Docs EU
  • Year: 2016

About the speaker

Daniel Beck