10 Steps to Building a Checklist
Updated by Kari Scott-Matthew
Here are the 10 steps you need to know to build an effective, user-friendly checklist.
- Plan your checklist
We know, you're keen to get started. However, investing time upfront in a planning phase ultimately saves time in later revisions and, most importantly, produces a checklist with a logical, fluent flow and optimal data capture. This may mean engaging subject matter experts within your organisation to consult on what data or information to capture, and how to best to define and capture this for consistency and accuracy. In this context, your subject matter experts are most typically those who are familiar with conducting the inspections combined with those familiar with maintaining the assets being inspected.
- Open a new checklist in the ChekRite portal
The principle here is just the same as creating a new document in any program. Click New and there's a fresh page waiting for you to populate with information and instructions. This is where you give your new checklist a name, a category, and enter any other detail that needs to be recorded.
- Set up the structure
The structure of a checklist can be likened to a Table of Contents. There is a sequence of headings (including folders called Group Titles) which drive how your checklist will flow and be presented to those using the ChekRite App. You can add, unassign, and manipulate the order of these to achieve a fluent, easy-to-use checklist.
This is also where you write the task that the user is to perform and set what kind of response is necessary. A response may be a gauge to record the temperature or a fluid level or even a reaction, or you may set buttons for the user to tap when a check has passed or failed, or even the option of a signature.
- Add Extra Info
Not all checks within a checklist or even checklists need to include Extra Info. However, this is a great way of capturing so many extra levels of detail that are not even conceivable in a world powered by paper forms. ChekRite offers quite an extensive selection. Depending on the nature of the check, a photo or two tells a more comprehensive story than a few words. An audio recording provides the flexibility for the checklist user to log some extra points that supervisors and managers really need to know.
- Add sub-checks
Like Extra Info, not all checks and checklists need to include sub-checks. Sub-checks succinctly and consistently describe the nature of a fault found using key words and descriptions you have pre-loaded into the portal, or if customised ask the user for an extra layer of information even when something is A-OK. This is where you define a company language for describing the problems that people see so that you get consistency in the reporting of them no matter who finds them. Here, we recommend that subject matter experts work with you to determine for instance what type of faults may occur and how best to describe these faults or what extra detail is needed.
- Review your checklist
Before you go live with your checklist, it is best to have the experts proofread or trial it using a device in test mode to identify any errors as well as any opportunities for improvement. Once you have their feedback, modify the checklist as necessary (there may be a little toing and froing - there almost always is!), gain final sign off from your stakeholders, and you're ready to publish.
- Publish your checklist
Let's go live! Click the publish button and you've passed the point of no return. Your checklist is out there and almost ready to use. Just a few more steps to go. If you find later you need to make changes to your checklist, you just create a new version and make changes to that new version preserving the original.
- Assign your checklist to an asset class
Now you need to assign your checklist to the relevant asset classes so that it is available for the user to select in the ChekRite App. Why assign? Well, this is to ensure that your checklist is being used to check the right thing in the right manner. It probably wouldn't be very effective if a checklist designed for a maintenance inspection of a specific class of dump truck was given to someone who needed to assess an employee's OH&S knowledge. Hmmm, where are your wheels again?
- Add any warnings and manuals
The ability to add manuals to a check means that all the reference material the user needs to perform a check is available on a single device at the tap of a finger. Warnings are a very practical feature, too - especially where safety is paramount. To give an example, if a check is to be performed in an environment where there are flying particles and dust, the warning might read: “Eye protection must be worn when conducting this check."
- Set up notifications / analytics
Last step, we promise! This step involves setting up notifications for those who need to know the data results captured using your checklist or even when a checklist has been submitted. You can filter the data depending on the types of information supervisors, managers, analysts, or any other relevant company members need and disseminate it via email, SMS, or phone call.