: New: Book Report: The Checklist Manifesto

We humans are inordinately proud that we're somewhat cleverer than lizards. The good news is that we can do some complex things. The bad news is that we think we're really great at handling that complexity; but mostly we're good at failing to notice when we mess something up.
Discipline is hard—harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness.

One thing that can help: a checklist, a documented set of steps to carry out some task. It's not easy to write a good checklist. It's a mnemonic for folks who already know what they're doing; they won't all know their stuff equally-well. A checklist detailed enough for the green newb doesn't help the grizzled expert. But get a checklist right, and it will help. Here are anecdotes as a doctor talks to building contractors and airplane pilots to find out how they use checklists. He hopes to steal ideas on how doctors might use checklists better. Some of these ideas transfer better than others; managing construction of a skyscraper isn't much like flying an airplane or prepping a patient; it makes sense that these folks would have very different checklists and use them differently.

Tags: book writing

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