How to create a good checklist?

Checklists can help to make complicated processes more efficient and avoid mistakes.

But how to create a good checklist? Here is a short guide:

Checklists conception

The first step is to define the rough framework for the checklist. For this purpose at least the following questions should be answered:

  • What is the aim of the checklist?
    (e.g. to bring the website live without errors)
  • Who will use the checklist?
  • When exactly will the checklist be used?
  • What important intermediate steps must be taken to achieve the goal?
    (e.g. export website from test server, import website, perform functional test etc.)
  • Which steps are necessary to achieve the intermediate goals?
    (e.g. perform functional test: Check if all links work, check if all images are loaded correctly, check if the loading time of the website is correct)
  • How can these steps best be ordered in the checklist?

Checklists elaboration

This step is about creating a first version of the checklist that can be used in practice. After this first draft of the checklist has been created, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the language of the checklist understandable? (Are only terms used which the users understand?)
  • Does the checklist have a comprehensible, clear structure?
  • Does the checklist not contain any non-essential information?
  • Does the checklist fit on a single page?

Checklists practical test

After you have created the first version of the checklist, the checklist must prove itself in practice and be optimised here. If you use the checklist yourself, make notes during the first tests to see what can be improved. If employees use the checklist, collect feedback.

The following questions should be answered in the practical test:

  • Is the process fluid?
  • Is the checklist complete?
  • Is the checklist understandable for the users?
  • Does the use of the checklist lead to a better work result? If not: What can be optimised?

Step by step, with each optimisation you will receive a checklist that will help you to achieve your set goal.

Further literature on the subject of checklists

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Christian Wagner
Christian Wagner
Founder RiskPlayWin | Owner & Founder of the digital marketing agencies &