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Checklists need and usage


Should standard checklists should be the part of reviews or not?. Depends upon the situation, team experience and rigor of reviews.

For Knowledge sharing purposes to new team with relatively lesser experience, introducing checklist will be very effective, Checklists for beginners will ensure that they remain focused on their reviews, audits, walk-throughs and any activity.  For Senior Management dashboards, monthly status reviews, or for that matter anything to do with internal organization reports checklists will ensure that the trend analyzed is consistent. May be there should be some flexibilities w.r.t to mandatory and optional check points. There can be a continual improvement with additions / deletions to checklist as the tailoring of these points will make the checklists effective in present context of the situation.

During Project execution, checklists will serve a major benefit especially in a bigger sized team, ensuring uniformity of activities and their measurements. Right from requirements through design, construction, testing and deployment phases checklists based reviews will measure metrics consistently and lead to overall improvements in the performance trends.  In Agile based projects, checklists can be more of pointers and hints in helping to decide priorities of sprints, completion of stories and velocity measurements.

There can be the other side of the checklists, that these checklist should not be made as tick lists and make the reviews trivial.  Stakeholders concerned should continuously review and validate checklists in the current context and make it continuously effective on an ongoing basis.

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