What could be lowlier than a checklist? It stifles creativity, squashes individual contributions, and reduces work to its lowest level…right? Wrong. As the book jacket for “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande describes, the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people – consistently, correctly and safely. Using a checklist can be a simple and powerful way to ensure that stupid but critical stuff is not missed.
Why read this book:
- It’s quick read – and can be even quicker if you get the summary version available for Kindle (either the reader or the app for Apple or Android devices).
- It tackles the subject of improving performance in a complex world. Gawande makes the compelling and data-based case for using checklists, first popularized in the aviation industry as airplanes grew more complicated. Whether you’re flying an airplane or building a skyscraper, managing a technology department or making million-dollar investment decisions, checklists can result in significantly improved outcomes with very little incremental investment and/or training.
- It’s a really good book. I first happened on the work of author (and surgeon) Gawande in The New Yorker magazine, where I was won over by his intelligent, incisive and personal writing. When I saw his latest book at the library, I snatched it up, knowing I was in for some expert story telling. I was entertained AND learned something new.
At Waident, we develop and rely on checklists every day, whether we’re onboarding a new client, configuring a new laptop, or monitoring a network. We use them as a way increase our efficiency at delivering superior service for our clients. You may have business processes that are plagued by errors and inefficiencies – a checklist may be just what the doctor ordered.