Monday, 14 October 2013

Bandwidth tax and Checklists

Two excellent books I would recommend are Scarcity: Why having too little means so much and The Checklist Manifesto.

In Scarcity, the authors have written an excellent and thought provoking book, founded in the effect that scarcity has on how we behave and even our intelligence and ability to cope, The "tax on Bandwidth" conclusion, drawn from the research and evidence in the book supports my own observations, both personally and of clients. The strategies proposed in the book, and tested in some environments to overcome the impact of Scarcity and the tax are intuitively satisfying and a challenge to all of us to apply correctly rather than label behaviours as poor and dismiss them.

The Checklist Manifesto tackles with great detail (the primarily surgical examples are explicit), a topic that appears bound to be dry as dust, but really isn't. As an avowed believer in checklists, this book raised my understanding of what the good design of them looks like and the measurable impact that they can have in key situations. It also tackles some of my concerns about them such as the perception that it hinders creativity (it shouldn't), and the dangers of getting the level of detail wrong (OCD tendencies and lack of user involvement can be dangerous here). The importance of testing, review and modification of a new checklist along with tailoring to local situations was also highlighted by comparing common Surgery checklists in "1st" v "3rd" world Operating Theatres.

Enjoy and apply! 

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