The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right
by Atul Gawande

Estimated Reading Time

Summary 40 minutes
Full Book 3:35 hours
You Save 2:55 hours

The Checklist Manifesto explains how checklists are critical for managing complexity in not only medicine, but also business, investing and other fields. The idea of a checklist is simple, but has profound implications for high performance, disaster avoidance and organizational culture.

In this summary:

  • Introduction: Failure from ignorance vs. ineptitude.
  • Chapter 1 - The Problem of Extreme Complexity: The rise of complexity and the inadequacies of specialization.
  • Chapter 2 - The Checklist: 3 types of failure and how checklists help.
  • Chapter 3 - The End of the Master Builder: 3 types of problems (simple, complicated, complex) and 2 types of checklists.
  • Chapter 4 - The Idea: Checklists and the decentralization of authority.
  • Chapter 5 - The First Try: 3 characteristics of successful interventions.
  • Chapter 6 - The Checklist Factory: How to make a good checklist.
  • Chapter 7 - The Test: Gawande tries a safe surgery checklist.
  • Chapter 8 - The Hero in the Age of Checklists: Why people are reluctant to embrace checklists.
  • Chapter 9 - The Save: The checklist saves a life.