Checklists are an effective tool to combat ineptitude. Atul Gawande, the author of this book, shows how checklists can be implemented with this purpose. In order to share this knowledge, Atul fortunately doesn’t sermonize the “how-to-do” and “what-to-do” in lengthy prose. Instead he tells us how he discovered the usefulness of checklist when involved in a major project. He learns about the history of checklists and surmounts the initial skepticism before implementing this in a real life scenario. The implementation of checklists are also a learning and humbling experience for Atul.
Atul attributes the origin of effective checklists to aviation industry. He researched checklists in aviation industry and also the construction industry. He then implements the checklist in the healthcare industry for improving the success rate of surgeries. The anecdotes in the book gives us a unseen perspective on the complexity of these three industries.
Are checklists effective and useful? This is a question you might have asked yourself in your professional life! The author’s experience serves as a good learning material for all us to implement this in our professions. Atul points out what is the best number of items to have in a checklist to make it effective. He encourages us to break our checklist into smaller checklists in case the situation demands. He also emphasizes on two kinds of checklist – READ-DO and DO-CONFIRM.
If you are a professional and have hated checklists, this is an eye-opener. If you are struggling to implement checklists at your work, this book will provide a lot of ideas! If you are looking towards improving the efficiency of your team, this might be the magic potion!
As a footnote, please do not confuse checklists with a project plan.