engineering a better experience
Monday, May 24, 2010 (Updated )

Reader Review: The Checklist Manifesto

by Josh Vogel

Checklist Manifesto .

(Image: Amazon)

This post was submitted by reader Josh Vogel.

Review

The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande, is a manager's guide to making the professionals under his charge play at the top of their game. Throughout the book, Gawande stresses that checklists have a place in every business sector, from aviation, to finance, and, his main emphasis, in the operating room of a hospital. He goes to great lengths to show the successes checklist implementation has accomplished in often short periods of time.

Perhaps the most appealing part of this book is the points Gawande makes about how a checklist is for everyone at every stage of their career. The need for checklists, Gawande says, is especially true for those who have excelled in their positions and feel that they are infallible and do not need to rely on such checks during their normal work routines.  

The book further stress the point that checklists are an inexpensive tool to implement that can result in large rewards both physical and financial. Gawande also does an excellent job of detailing how to correctly implement a checklist in a corporate/hospital setting, promoting top-down support of the project and placing the responsibility for its use in the hands of those least involved, (i.e. nurses, etc).

Towards the end of the book, Gawande does become a little redundant in his message. While he does cover it somewhat, more time could have been spent reviewing the need for checklists in today's world, bringing more evidence for failures that occur as a direct result of not having a checklist in place. Nevertheless, Gawandes writing style is easy to read and eloquent, wasting no words and making his points clear. Gawande is on to something and using his ideas can produce dramatic results with little cost involved.

Josh Vogel is a Candidate for the Master of Public Health at Boston University School of Public Health.

Review text licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Additional editing by The Metaist.