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Cory Jarrell @cdjarrell
, 12 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Book highlights from "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right" by @Atul_Gawande
2/ Why do we fail? Two reasons. The first is ignorance—we may err because science has given us only a partial understanding of the world and how it works. The second is ineptitude—because in these instances the knowledge exists, yet we fail to apply it correctly. Second is worse
3/ Avoidable failures are common and persistent because the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.
4/ Re: complexity, decentralization is the answer. People need room to act and adapt. They require a seemingly contradictory mix of freedom and expectation—expectation to coordinate, for example, and also to measure progress toward common goals.
5/ Re: coordination, seek openness, equality, and an understanding of who people are early. Giving people a chance to say something at the start seemed to activate their sense of participation and responsibility and their willingness to note problems and offer solutions
6/ Main point of the book: Something as simple as a checklist can help prevent avoidable failures. They remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They provide a kind of cognitive net and catch mental flaws of memory and attention and thoroughness
7/ Good checklists ensure the critical stuff is not overlooked and ensure people talk and coordinate and accept responsibility while being adaptable to changes in the complex system
8/ Good checklists are precise, efficient, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations; they are, above all, practical. Bad checklists are vague and imprecise and try to spell out every single step.
9/ Checklists should have a clear point when to be used. They are either DO-CONFIRM lists where members use their experience and then pause to check everything has been done or READ-DO where people carry out tasks as they check them off, like a recipe.
10/ Good rules of thumb for checklists: keep them to between five and nine items, which is the limit of human working memory. Their wording should be simple and exact, and use familiar language. They should be one page or less, free of clutter and unnecessary colors
END/ Checklists work because discipline is hard—harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. Humans are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures. But they're critical to avoiding failures that could be prevented in complex situations
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