Back to home page

Checklist Manifesto Book Review

Checklist Best Practices | By | 17 Nov 2014 | 2 minute read

Dr. Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto is a refreshing insight to a well known, modest concept, the simple checklist.

The volume and complexity of tasks these days has grown to a point where not one singular person can remember everything, and manage it consistently all the time.

Enter the checklist.  Which works as a “to-do” list in many industries given as examples in the book.  This is not a how-to book as the inference may be from the title and blurb.  This won’t give you tips on how to self-improve, de-stress, and find your inner peace.  The core message of this book is far more simple (and in some cases, important) than that.

Humans being human, mistakes will inevitably occur.  Using a checklist is designed not just for simple, straightforward tasks, but for emergency response, troubleshooting, and complex tasks as well.

[Tweet “Humans being human, mistakes will inevitably occur. Using a checklist can erase those mistakes.”]

To be fair, the core conclusions to this book could essentially be summarised on one page.  Although it is the well written prose and true story examples that make the read well worth it.

While most examples and circumstances lay outside the realm of the majority of readers, you will benefit from the inspiring thinking and insights it provides.

It will become obvious by the time you are finished that although a psychological opposition to the checklist exists, the benefits of its application far outweighs it.

“…even the unenthusiastic surgeons who felt checklists were a waste of time, answered YES to the question, ‘If you were undergoing surgery, would you want your surgical team to employ a checklist?’”

There seems to be no practical application to the novel, as in, you will find nothing on how to construct a checklist, or to learn practices that will help you maintain your current checklists.  However, Gawande has made the conceptual case for checklists, why they work, and the psychological obstacles to using them.  It is then up to us as the reader to apply the practical aspect.

While you may not find everything you are searching for in this book, at the very least it provides an eye opening insight into the power of a very simple tool.

I believe that this book will be genuinely useful for people or businesses who conduct inspections.

A great read.  4.5 safety ticks.


Author: Jarrod Boyd

Like this article? Why not share it!

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your specific needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are based on our interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. We are not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article. SafetyCulture disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article, any site linked to this article, and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.