I worked with surgeons for more than 20 years as their publishing partner, and remember well hearing about Atul Gawande’s early research transferring the pilot checklist concept to surgical practice. (It was around the time that news stories were hitting about the wrong legs being amputated, or wrong kidneys being transplanted.) Dr. Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, demonstrated how this low-to-no-cost practice saved lives almost immediately, proving that sometimes the simplest actions can have the greatest results. That research now appears in the NYTimes best-seller, The Checklist Manifesto.
In this thought-provoking article from his Harvard Business Review Blog, Justin Fox takes Gawande’s concept to the next level for business, suggesting some situations where checklists come in handy. His list: Task Lists, Troubleshooting Lists, Coordination Lists, Discipline Lists, and the ever-popular To-Do Lists.
What list-making do YOU use to keep you operating effectively and efficiently?
UPDATE: A business friend at lunch today contributed the list he sees regularly: the “honey-do list”!