Jeff Yoak's Reviews > The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
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Sep 20, 11

bookshelves: audio-collection, abandoned, read-in-2011, probably-never-read-again
Read on September 20, 2011, read count: 1

I read about a third of the book. Most of that is a surgeon telling interesting stories about the happenings in medicine. He also makes an interesting distinction between errors made from ignorance and errors made from ineptitude, the former being cases of having insufficient knowledge and the latter being cases of having the knowledge and not applying it adequately. He believes that checklists are majorly effective in addressing the second category.

That's good, so far as it goes, but all signs are that this is about the extent of what he has to say. The rest seems to be anecdotes, and even while they are amusing, they don't really hold enough that I find myself wanting to read it. People who are already well along in the art of productivity won't be helped much beyond the note I made above. Those that aren't have many better books to read. I'm not sure who this book is good for, except for those that find the stories entertaining and enjoy it in that limited context.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Alissa Thorne If you're reading this as a productivity book, I think you've missed the point. The thesis, as I understood it, was that you can use highly refined checklists in recurring high-risk/high-value tasks to ensure that all steps critical to success are completed correctly.

To my my mind, this is trying to solve a radically different problem from the GTD methodologies. The checklist manifesto is trying to ensure correctness and quality; GTD is trying to address attention management for productivity and peace.


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