The Checklist Manifesto: How MSPs Can Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul GawandeIt’s my firm belief that checklists are a Managed Service Providers (MSPs) superpower!

We know that the majority of IT professionals are highly skilled.

That’s not in dispute.

However, it would be best if you were using checklists in your IT business to ensure that your well-trained staff operate at the highest standard, consistently.

I learned this when I ran my own MSP business, and it’s all thanks to one compelling book I read.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

One of the books I find myself recommending to IT Solution Providers and MSPs, again and again, is The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. Atul Gawande 

A book about lists? Surely not!

Yet, despite the simple idea of a checklist, this book explores why these lists are so important.

Checklists are the way to raise standards, improve service and even, in some industries, to save lives.

Using lists innovation and improvement

The Checklist Manifesto book begins by exploring why the aviation industry relies so heavily on checklists.

Aviation is an industry that strives to improve and innovate continuously.

Think about the last time you got on an aeroplane and glanced into the pilot’s cockpit.

Chances are, the pilot and co-pilot were ticking off items on a checklist.

It’s not as though these pilots aren’t highly trained. But would you prefer to be flown by the pilot who runs through a checklist?

Or would you feel comfortable being flown by the pilot who assumes he hasn’t forgotten anything?

How lists can build consistency

ChecklistsThe author of this book, Atul Gawande, is a surgeon.

The book explores why Gawande’s industry — medicine — resisted using checklists.

The reason? Ego. Doctors felt they didn’t need to use checklists as they knew what they were doing.

Except Doctors have a LOT to do and can be easily distracted.

Gawande also describes how he worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to introduce lists into the operating theatre of many hospitals.

These measures reduced accidents and increased survival rates in patients.

The analogy with your average MSP, who are juggling hundreds of requests from clients each day, is obvious.

As I’ve written before, Perseverance and Consistency = Success.

Lists ensure consistently high-quality.

Use Checklists for Profitable, Succesful Projects

Author Atul Gawande gives some fantastic examples of seemingly impossible projects — such as building skyscraper buildings — made possible thanks to lists.

Every MSP I’ve ever spoken to has a war story about a project that has grown wildly out-of-scope and ended up being unprofitable.

Lists are a way to make sure that projects are delivered in-scope and on-time, every time.

We use a tool called – A Checklist App for Teams for our checklists within Team Tubb.

As I wrote for Manifestly, Checklists are a Superpower, the benefits of IT companies using such lists are:-

  • Save Money and better use of time by enabling competent, trained people to do their jobs faster
  • Growth: Freeing up senior staff’s time to do higher-value work.
  • Happy employees: Reducing the need for bosses to micro-manage.
  • Consistency: To help staff get back on track after distractions (like a ringing telephone).
Checklists are an MSPs Superpower! Read the book The Checklist Manifesto by @Atul_Gawande to understand why Click to Tweet


I’ve recommended The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. Atul Gawande  more times than I can remember.

Checklists are an MSPs superpower, and The Checklist Manifesto book helps IT business owners understand why.

Every MSP business owner should read this book to truly understand the power of lists in improving all of their day-to-day processes.

Have you read The Checklist Manifesto? What did you think of it? Please, leave a comment below or get in touch.

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