The Checklist Manifesto
“The Checklist Manifesto,” by Atul Gawande, demonstrates how complex our lives are and how we can deal with them. Gawande is a doctor, so the majority of his examples are from a doctor’s perspective. However, many concepts are transferable between industries, including the legal field. Read on to learn why you should have a checklist, what problems a checklist is designed to fix, and the difference between a checklist and a workflow.
Why Have a Checklist and How They Came to Be
In “The Checklist Manifesto,” Gawande discusses the problem of extreme consistency. Never in the past has the world had so much information. We are discovering new information all of the time. In medicine, there are over 13,000 ways a body can fail. It’s impossible for one person to know all the ways and how to diagnose and fix them. This is why we have specialists. With specialists, there come new challenges of learning how the specialists can work together to make sure their knowledge is used holistically. This is where checklists come in.
What Problems Are Checklists Designed To Fix
In a complex environment, we have two challenges. The first is the fallibility of human memory and attention. This makes mundane and routine matters easy to miss when we have seemingly bigger issues at hand. We can also be tempted to skip steps because they don’t always cause a problem – until they do! Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit so that we are more disciplined in following them.
What’s the Difference Between a Checklist and a Workflow
The difference between a checklist and a workflow is quite simple. A checklist is designed to be basic, while a workflow has more detail. Ina workflow, you need to ensure all the details are clearly explained. Not all the details are critical. However, in a checklist, every item is critical. They do work hand in hand, though. You can set up a workflow first, then create checklists by identifying critical details.
If you want to learn more about using a checklist, check out https://www.nextlevel.legal/episode/lfn090.