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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things…
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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

by Atul Gawande

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Shows the power of process. Why it makes sense to take wisdom and put it into something as mundane as a checklist.

It saves lives for pilots and should be used more by doctors.

Two Kinds of Checklists
When you know what steps to take (like a pilot) then you list the actions.

When you don't, (like building a new kind of sky scraper) you list all the people who need to be in the room at various points in the process. ( )
  BizCoach | Aug 4, 2014 |
Well written. Simple but effective idea. Looking for application in my work. Strongly recommend book. ( )
  GlennBell | Jul 2, 2014 |
He ends up this book with the strongest examples of checklists conquering complex systems - the "miracle on the Hudson" landing of an Airbus a couple of years back and superior investment picking systems whose main defense against bad decisions is the attention to detail enforced by the checklist. If we ever land people on Mars or build an undersea habitat it will probably be by means of some checklist encompassing a project too big for one person to hold within a single mind. ( )
  rmagahiz | Dec 21, 2013 |
The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry--in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people--consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever advancing technologies, and still we fail.
Now, acclaimed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande makes a compelling arguement that we can do better and finds a solution in the most humble of places: the lowly checklist. He explains how checklists have made possible some of the most difficult things people do--from flying airplanes to building skyscrapers of mind-boggling sophistication. And drawing on his own experience, he shows how applying this idea to the immensely various and complex world of surgery produced a ninety-second checklist that reduced deaths and complications by more than one-third in eight hospitals around the world--at virtually no cost and for almost any kind of operation.
The Checklist Manifesto is a gripping exploration of the nature of complexity in our lives and essential reading for anyone working to get things right.
  AhalyaLiteraryAngels | Nov 27, 2013 |
An interesting read. Some have said this would work better as a long essay or a series of articles in a magazine. I disagree. Gawande would have been very restricted in the information he could provide in any other format besides a book. Overall, his message is that all processes might benefit from checklist; but especially complex processes. Implementing a checklist allows team members to focus on their expertise rather than the mundane elements of any process -- from landing a plane on the Hudson to removing cancerous tumors from a patient. ( )
  lesmel | Aug 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
I already know that "The Checklist Manifesto" will be on my list of best books this year. Gawande writes with gusto, humor and clarity. He features his mistakes -- always a good sign in a reporter -- including the one that ends the book.
 
Read this book and you might find yourself making checklists for the most mundane tasks—and be better off for it.
 
But that narrative gift doesn't transfer automatically to accounts of in-flight safety checks and structural engineering near-misses. Gawande's style is always clear, with the crispy lilt that is a trademark of the New Yorker, where he is also a staff writer. But there's no escaping the fact that this is a book about, well, checklists. Hemingway would struggle to make it gripping. Gawande does well to pull off engaging.
added by stephmo | editThe Observer, Rafael Behr (Jan 24, 2010)
 
Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a staff writer at The New Yorker, makes the case that checklists can help us manage the extreme complexity of the modern world. In medicine, he writes, the problem is “making sure we apply the knowledge we have consistently and correctly.” Failure, he argues, results not so much from ignorance (not knowing enough about what works) as from ineptitude (not properly applying what we know works).
 
Dr. Gawande is right to note that checklists are indispensable in situations where a small mistake can lead to tragic consequences, as in surgery. But his call for a broad checklist regime would be counterproductive—fraught with all the dangers of bureaucracy and excessive law.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atul Gawandeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fyfe, LisaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levavi, Meryl SussmanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lloyd, John BedfordReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schloss, RoslynCopy editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was chatting with a medical school friend of mine who is now a general surgeon in San Francisco. (Introduction)
Some time ago I read a case report in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
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Faulty memory and distraction are a particular danger in what engineers call all-or-none processes: whether running to the store to buy ingredients for a cake, preparing an airplane for takeoff, or evaluating a sick person in the hospital, if you miss just one key thing, you might as well not have made the effort at all.
...the real lesson is that under conditions of true complexity--where knowledge required exceeds that of any individual and unpredictably reigns--efforts to dictate every step from the center will fail. People need room to act and adapt. Yet they cannot succeed as isolated individuals, either--that is anarchy. Instead, they require a seemingly contradictory mix of freedom and expectation--expectation to coordinate, for example, and also to measure progress toward common goals.
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Book description
The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry--in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people--consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever advancing technologies, and still we fail.
Now, acclaimed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande makes a compelling arguement that we can do better and finds a solution in the most humble of places: the lowly checklist. He explains how checklists have made possible some of the most difficult things people do--from flying airplanes to building skyscrapers of mind-boggling sophistication. And drawing on his own experience, he shows how applying this idea to the immensely various and complex world of surgery produced a ninety-second checklist that reduced deaths and complications by more than one-third in eight hospitals around the world--at virtually no cost and for almost any kind of operation.
In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection, and to the flight deck of a crashing plane. Along the way, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can't, and how they could bring about striking improvements in fields well beyond medicine, from homeland security to investment banking to professions and businesses of all kinds.
The Checklist Manifesto is a gripping exploration of the nature of complexity in our lives and essential reading for anyone working to get things right.
-flap copy
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Reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist now being used in medicine, aviation, the armed services, homeland security, investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.

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