Checklists: What is a checklist and how to use it?

What is a checklist?

Checklists, Control Lists or Verification Lists are formats designed to perform repetitive activities, to verify a list of requirements or to collect data in an orderly and systematic manner. They are used to make systematic checks of activities or products ensuring that the worker or inspector does not forget anything important.


The main uses of checklists are:check-list

– Verification of the activities development in which it is important not to forget any step, or where the tasks have to be done with an established order.

– Doing inspections and record the points which have been inspected.

– Check the correct implementation of standards or procedures.

– Obtain information to analyze where the incidences and non-conformities happen. Help to check the causes of defects.

– Verification of the product specifications.

– Collect data for further analysis.

In short, these lists are usually used to perform routine checks and inspections, and to ensure that the worker doesn’t forget anything during his daily tasks.

The advantage of using checklists is that it enables you to systematize the repetitive activities and controls that we have to do, and later it can be used as a register of the tasks that we have done each day.


How to use a checklist?

It is important that your checklists were clearly written, and it may include all information that you can need during the development of you tasks.


Here you have a list with the things that a checklist should include:

– Things that have to be controlled, measured or verified.

– Conformity criteria and potential nonconformities (what is right and what is wrong).

– How often it has to be inspected: frequency of the checking.

– Who does the tasks or the verifications.

– Procedures, specifications and rules that apply in the checked activities.

Also we should include space to write appreciations, in order to let the worker write any observation and to obtain preliminary information about possible reasons that have caused any disagreement.

On the other hand, we also can use the check lists for obtaining data, we can use it to build graphs, histograms or diagrams to control the evolution of a feature or activity. They can be are also used to report daily the status of the operations.


Example: How to create a checklist

Here is a sample of checklist:


Download checklist example (MS Word format)

This checklist example can be used in a production plant to control the components of the product, the defects, incidences and the delays in the production line. Thus, all points would be checked in each inspected product, identifying the product code and serving also as a register, which would be kept and may provide in the future information about what products have been inspected each day and its results.


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