Checklist a simple but powerful tool to mitigate risks
In 1935, when B-17 “The Flying Fortress” was being tested, the final aircraft evaluations were done at the Wright-Paterson Airbase close to Dayton Ohio. The B-17 took off and seconds after take-off the aircraft stalled and dropped to the ground bursting into flames. Initially it was thought it was due to mechanical failure. However, analysis did not find any mechanical failure, the investigation team concluded that pilot error was the cause of failure.
The pilot had made a simple but subtle mistake with one of the new controls. The pilot stated that “It was too much plane for one man to fly” the failure was that pilot could not remember all the procedures that needs to be done pre-flight to have a successful take-off.
The solution to the problem was simple, ingenious but most of all effective-the creation of a checklist!!!
The first plane to have a checklist was the B 17 The Flying Fortress!!!! Which, incidentally is till used as a pre-flight check for all flights.
It turned out that it was a great plane, it was not too much for one man to fly, but merely too much for one man’s memory. A simple checklist could ensure that any one of the crucial steps before, during or at landing were not forgotten
Check Lists for Scrum Teams.
Checklists can be effective for any Scrum team to ensure risk reduction/elimination on work being done by the team. It can be used in the following areas
Product Backlog Refinement – The Product Backlog Increment is “ready” to be planned
Definition of Done has been met while working on the PBI during the sprint
Three questions in the Daily Scrum are a checklist for the team members to update each other
The “Ready to be Planned” check list for PBI’s is a living document and should be reviewed during the retrospective and updated based on the observations and feedback from the team.
I have successfully used this tool for multiple programs in both single team and multiple team environments
Have you used the checklist as the rest mitigation to for your scrum teams? If not, I would recommend try creating one and using it.