Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Good Read, Interesting Idea
on 26 June 2016
As the title suggests, The Checklist Manifesto outlines the benefits of using checklists in various situations from the perspective of Atul Gawande, a leading surgeon. Atul sets out to find a solution for the problem of complexity in medicine by objectively researching different contexts, from project managing extremely complex building developments to piloting planes. A large emphasis is placed on situations such as disasters, where time is of the essence and there is a limited time to react to the situation at hand, much like would be found in the operating theatre, where the basis of the book originates.
I enjoyed the methodical approach of following Atul on his journey, trying to get to the crux of checklists, how (or if!) they are beneficial to situations and how a balance can be struck between having sufficient information to be useful whilst not overbearing the user to the point where the list becomes disregarded. He uses examples such as investment fund managers, third world disease prevention schemes, professional kitchens, and of course hospitals whilst using various statistics to bring the narrative to life.
A number of real world disasters are cited which keep the book gripping and interesting, and help to outline the reality the checklists aren’t to make the user into a methodical robot, but how it helps to strike a balance between communication, delegation and preparation. The bottom line of the theme is that the effects of using checklists are subtle taken on an individual situation basis, but in unlikely circumstances or taking the statistical data over a large number of samples, a clear picture gets painted. Checklists, particularly in the context of surgery or plane mishaps, are fundamental to team cohesion and just by taking the simple of step of introducing names before surgery or a flight can have a profound effect on achieving desirable outcomes.
I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it, it does provoke thought into how checklists could be used in other situations and the problem of the human ego that leads dismissal of procedures that can have profound beneficial effects.