If you were ever wondering about the concept of a checklist and how it began, then we can enlighten you. The story starts with the Boeing B-17, also known as the 'Flying Fortress', a four-engine heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps. It was used primarily in the European Theater of Operations and dropped more bombs than any other aircraft during World War II. The B-17 was introduced in 1935 and suffered a fatal crash during testing due to the complexity of the aircraft at the time. To make sure all steps were followed in the correct order during and after operations, Boeing engineers developed a “checklist.” Safety improved dramatically and Boeing created operating and maintenance checklists for all their aircraft, while becoming standard operating procedure for worldwide aviation.
Checklists play a crucial role in both aviation and financial planning. In aviation, checklists are important assets that assist the flight crew in the safe and proper operation of the aircraft. They reflect the experience of the aircraft manufacturer and its operators over an extended period of time and countless flight hours. Checklists ensure that all required actions are performed without omission and in an orderly manner. Similarly, in financial planning, checklists can make it easier to monitor your money and do some financial housekeeping. An annual financial planning checklist makes it easier to see which tasks have been completed and which you still need to tackle. It allows you to determine your financial situation at the given moment, including looking at all your assets and liabilities, deciding what your goals are, and selecting the methods you intend to employ to achieve them.
In conclusion, whether it's operating a complex old bird like the Boeing B-17 or managing your finances, checklists provide a systematic way to ensure critical steps are not missed, enhancing safety, efficiency, and effectiveness. Please ask us how our Checklist Formula® can be deployed to serve your financial planning goals. Have a great National Checklist Day!!
Mike Maynes, CFP®