Keith Mayfield, Chairman of an AmLaw 100 firm, is shaking his head as he enters his office. He has just returned from the monthly meeting of the Commercial Finance Group in his firm. This was Keith's practice area before becoming chairman. For the umpteenth time the status update of the Group's standard forms was “no progress”. The assigned partners have been too busy with client work to review the associates' drafts. It's been three years since the effort began. Several of the associates who drafted the forms have left the firm. The forms project has been restaffed at the partner level several times because of the problem of delayed review. One meeting of the assigned partners to address big-picture comments resulted in an unresolved disagreement about how to address several provisions. Clearly there's something wrong with the process, not the individuals.
Later that day Keith happens upon The Checklist Manifesto[*] as he's looking for airplane reading at the airport newsstand. He's read it already and moves on, but it gets him thinking.