Book: The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande


Checklists are great. We use them in all parts of the company process and a lot of documentation is made obsolete just by changing it to a checklist that anyone can follow. This is a great read.


Jobs are becoming too complex to be done from memory alone. Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps. Reminders of most critical and important steps. Practical. Between five and nine items. Let it evolve.


  • Substantial parts of what almost everyone does is now too complex for them to carry out reliably from memory alone.
  • Checklists seem to provide protection against such failures. They remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit.
  • You want people to make sure to get the stupid stuff right. Yet you also want to leave room for craft and judgment and the ability to respond to unexpected difficulties that arise along the way.
  • Giving people a chance to say something at the start seemed to activate their sense of participation and responsibility and their willingness to speak up.
  • Good checklists are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything—a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps – the ones that even the highly skilled professionals using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.
  • You must decide whether you want a DO-CONFIRM checklist or a READ-DO checklist.
  • Keep it to between five and nine items.
  • They are quick and simple tools aimed to buttress the skills of expert professionals.
  • Cut too much and you won’t have enough checks to improve care. Leave too much in and the list becomes too long to use.
  • In the end, a checklist is only an aid. If it doesn’t aid, it’s not right.