I’m a big fan of the checklist. When I need to remember a number of items or how to step through a process, nothing works as well as the list. Chip and Dan Heath look at the effectiveness of checklists in this month’s column in Fast Company magazine.
How can something so simple be so powerful? Checklists are good because they can educate people about the best course of action, showing them the ironclad right way to do something. As Pronovost told Atul Gawande in The New Yorker last winter, his five steps were black and white and backed by solid medical research. You could ignore the checklist, but you couldn’t dispute it.