Checklists serve as powerful tools in a wide range of domains and industries. The scope of their applications across different contexts and organizations may even surprise you.
NASA uses checklists in its space shuttle program to ensure astronaut safety and mission success. Before launch, a comprehensive checklist covers spacecraft systems and astronaut equipment. During the mission, checklists are used for task execution and problem-solving. In 1970, the Apollo 13 crew used a checklist to resolve a life-threatening issue and safely return to Earth.
Starbucks created a customer service checklist to provide every customer with a consistent experience in every location. Thanks to that, they maintain their reputation for excellent customer service.
Checklists are also utilized in emergency cases. Firefighters and paramedics use them to ensure they are well-prepared for any situation. The checklist includes tasks like checking equipment and reviewing procedures, allowing them to provide a quick and coordinated response to emergencies.
Checklists in Agile environments
In Agile software development, where multiple steps and individuals are involved, checklists can play a crucial role. In addition to simply organizing and prioritizing work, checklists are the key to maintaining consistency and ensuring high-quality outcomes.
As checklists can help teams ensure that all necessary steps and actions are completed, they minimize the risk of overlooking crucial tasks. Teams can also more easily identify potential issues and make necessary adjustments to keep the project on track.
Definition of Done
When it comes to software development, using checklists as a Definition of Done (DoD) can be an invaluable asset. A clearly defined DoD clarifies the team’s objectives during sprint planning and later on allows them to easily validate whether a task meets the agreed-upon criteria. A Jira plugin, such as Multiple Checklists for Jira, enables the automatic addition of a DoD checklist to any Jira issue. This allows developers and other team members to visually track the completion status by checking off DoD items once the requirements are fulfilled. It also makes it clearer to see what hasn’t been completed yet. The result? Fewer omissions, better control over the project, and enhanced collaboration among team members.
Release tracking is another area where checklists come in handy. If your release process is not fully automated and doesn’t happen frequently, it becomes all too easy to accidentally skip an essential step, which can lead to potentially disastrous consequences. This is where checklists prove to be invaluable. By incorporating checklists into your Jira tasks, you can significantly reduce the risk of overlooking critical elements during the release process. They will act as a handy reference, guiding you through each step and ensuring that all necessary actions have been taken before moving forward. Once you create a checklist for a specific release, you can save it as a template and easily reuse it in the future. It will not only save you time but also help you to maintain consistency across different releases.
Using checklists in Jira can help your team plan and write down all the required QA tests, ensuring a structured approach to testing. When a particular test is completed, you can conveniently mark it as done, so the completion status of your tests can be easily tracked by you and other team members. Another key advantage of using checklists for test planning is the ability to avoid unnecessary duplication of tests and focus on exploring new scenarios and uncovering potential issues instead.
Do you want to know how to add Checklists to your Jira issues? Check out this guide.
General benefits of using checklists
There are general benefits of using checklists that are not industry- or activity-specific. No matter where you apply them, they will always help you avoid mistakes, maintain standards, and ensure high quality of work.
As they give you a clear pattern to follow, they tend to boost productivity and make you more likely to deliver tasks quicker.
They also make it easier to delegate tasks and execute them. Using a checklist reduces the time needed to explain and repeat things. And to find out if the work has been done, all you need is one quick look at whether the items on the list have been ticked off or not.
Last but not least, checklists improve your mental well-being. When you check tasks off a list, your brain gets a sense of achievement and releases dopamine, which makes you feel better. Moreover, when you write things down, it helps to clear your mind. You don’t have to strain your memory to remember everything because it’s already written down, available whenever you need it.
Checklists are incredibly versatile tools that can be applied across various environments, including sectors like medical and aerospace. They also prove to be valuable in Agile settings, where they can be used to create completion criteria, facilitate release testing, and help to establish QA testing plans. No matter where exactly you apply them, you can be sure to benefit from their general advantages: mood boost, enhanced efficiency, and better organization.