The Checklist Manifesto

I recently read The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande. I was skeptical that I would find much value in the simple tool that it covered, a checklist. Especially, when I think of highly complex projects and roles.

Dr. Gawande is a successful general surgeon with a lot of credibility, which was one of the reasons that I decided to read this book about such a simple topic. He presents example checklists from complex roles like pilots and sky-scraper construction, and walks you through specific use cases, giving interesting examples of how the checklists helped in specific cases. His writing style and this use of specific examples kept me quite engaged throughout the book.

What really hit home was his use of numbers that he presented to show the effectiveness of a checklist implemented at several hospitals. One checklist reduced errors by almost forty-five percent (45%)! That is huge, no matter which industry you are in. Obviously, specific cases will be different, but a tool with the potential to improve things by that much, especially when it is so simple, is definitely worth a try.

This is a good book to read no matter which role you are in. This is especially a good investment of time if you are part of a management team or a process improvement team.

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