Sep 282010

Managing by Checklist

Managing by Checklist

The Checklist Manifesto:  How to Get Things Right, started as an article in The New Yorker a few years ago by Atul Gawande and then turned into a book as well (book, Kindle).  I haven’t read the book; the story in the article is about life-and-death issues and how Intensive Care Units in hospitals work most successfully when they “manage by checklist” — they keep thousands of small steps performed by different people in order.

The story is very telling for business as well and reminiscent of David Allen’s productivity books, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life. The reality as far as I’m concerned is that no matter who you are, no matter what role you play in an organization, my guess is that there are some routine or recurring tasks you perform where having a tight checklist is a no-brainer.  Between eliminating missed steps and increasing productivity by not having to reinvent the wheel…we may not be saving lives in dramatic fashion in most businesses, but we all have jobs to do and want to do them as well as possible.

Thanks to my colleague Tami Forman for pointing me to this.  At a minimum, the article is a great read.  And oddly, I had this post drafted for quite a while – I decided to post it today when I saw Jeff Ogden’s post about the same topic in reference to yesterday’s emergency landing at JFK.

  • dual diagnosis rehab

    I was really interested in this book, I read the article and the book, and I would like to share with you a few things. Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and New Yorker writer, had a huge impact on the health-care reform debate in 2009 when he wrote about wide regional disparities in Medicare spending. The article focused on McAllen, Tex., one of the country's priciest health-care markets. He starts the book by explaining how a simple five-item checklist in the operating room can dramatically reduce hospital-acquired infections, which kill 99,000 Americans a year. Gawande tells scarifying stories about the things that go wrong in operating rooms. Despite all the training and high-tech tools, doctors can forget the most basic steps, and chaos ensues. I can say that it was a great book that made me think a lot about our health care system.

  • treatment candida

    It is true that we all have recurring tasks that we want to fix as soon as possible and that everyone wants to manage their time as good as possible. Checklist is always a good way of keeping good track of all the things someone must fulfill in one day and of course it is one of the best in making sure things are done properly.