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Mention “checklist” to the average person and watch the eyes roll. It’s because checklists are at best seen to be childish and unnecessary and at worst, a tick-box exercise that assaults the worth of an individual – particularly for many of the more highly educated ones.

Yet therein lies the problem. The inevitable clash between the ego and a control mechanism designed to mitigate risk.

The checklist above saves lives everyday by reducing post-operative infections. And it has saved US$175m in just a trial – excluding consideration of any savings on a society-wide basis.

Checklists are a key type of control mechanism designed to manage risk. Such controls, when correctly designed and implemented in workflow, become a key part of an organisations systems to help things go right, first time.

So what are your checklists worth? Or don’t you have any?

About the author

Jai Gill