- 1 The basics of creating a checklist
The basics of creating a checklist
Composing your checklist
Before you start, it is good to have an understanding about how Easy to Inspect works and how checklists are composed.
A checklist is built up out of the following segments:
The introduction contains preliminary questions and information about the inspection.
- The date of the inspection will be attached automatically to every inspection that will be carried out. The date field is always included in a checklist. When creating you don’t need to put in a date selection field, since it will always show when using the App.
- The name of the inspector. The name of the inspector is automatically included in the inspection report. You don’t see it in the App, but it will always be shown in the report. And if you select to do so, detailed background information about the inspector (such as competence) and his/her signature, will be included in the closing section of the inspection report. So, don’t include a question or filter with ‘inspector’ in the checklist.
- Filters. Filters are used to create the questions of which the answers are predefined. The user can only choose from a scroll down menu and select the right value. For instance, a project number, a site, a customer or an activity. The filters are used to create more detailed analyses. And filter-values (the ones of which an inspector can choose), can always be modified / updated. Even when the checklist is taken into use already.
- Questions. You can select multiple types of questions. The questions in this section are for general purposes only. So don’t put actual inspection points in this section.
This part of your checklist contains the actual set of inspection points. You can create sections (specific clusters of questions) and multiple types of questions/inspection points:
- OK/NOK/N.A. questions. These are the most important questions to use, since they are included in the analyzes. The OK/NOK/N.A. question requires a judgement from the inspector. For example: ‘Warehouse-hygiene?’. The answer can be OK, not OK or not applicable if no warehouse is present.
- Subsequent questions within OK/NOK/N.A. questions. The OK/NOK/N.A. type of questions, offers the option to include a subsequent question. When the inspector evaluates the status of the warehouse hygiene insufficient, you could ask for an additional evaluation or explanation by including a drop-down list with values to give a more detailed value. For instance, on a scale from 1 to 10. The types of questions that can be used in a subsequent question, are: Yes/No, Drop down list, short answer, long answer, number or date. The types of questions can also be used as a main question type.
- Yes/No questions. The yes/no questions require a factual observation form the inspector. For example: ‘Is the door blue?’. The Yes/No questions will NOT be included in the analyses.
- Drop down list/multiple choice. The drop-down list/multiple choice question offers the option for the inspector to select the answer in a drop-down list. Drop down lists can be used to score according for instance A to F scales or can be used to select a percental grade, such as 80%. Drop down lists can be used in combination with pre- or suffixes such as #, %, $, €, °. The drop-down list type of questions is currently not yet included in the analysis of the report. However. all data can be exported to excel. So, when desired you can create your own analysis.
- Short answer. This type of question offers the inspector to include an open answer. The amount of space is limited to 1 sentence.
- Long answer. This type of question offers the inspector to include an open answer.
- Number question. This type of questions requires a numeric answer of the inspector.
- Date question. This type of questions requires the inspector to enter a date via a date selector menu. Very useful if you ask for instance about expiry dates etc.
The closing part of the checklist is meant to include conclusive questions and offers an option to have the inspection report approved by the representative.
Creating a checklist in Easy to Inspect is easy. Just follow these steps and you are on your way!
If you would like to create a new checklist you might want to work on an existing checklist. For this reason, you can copy and modify an existing checklist, and publish it as a new checklist. You can either choose a standard Easy to Inspect checklist or a checklist that was generated by yourself or a colleague.
Step 1: create or copy a checklist
Step 2: assign the standard Not OK causes to be used in your checklist (or OK and N.A. explanations)
Step 3: assign the filters you would like to use in your checklist
Step 4: create introduction questions
Step 5: create inspection questions
Step 6: create the closing questions
Step 6: preview your checklist and check it before publishing
When you create your questions / inspection points you must ensure that the answer to a question should always be positive (OK). This is important because the analysis is calculating the percentage of not OK answers compared to OK answers.
When you create your inspection questions in step 5, you can also create sections. Sections are categories of questions; for instance, during a hygiene inspection you could create a section ‘personal hygiene’ and a section ‘workplace hygiene’ in order to cluster your inspection points in a logical way.
Download our handy help guide for a detailed step by step introduction!
The Easy to Inspect ’cause codes’
Carrying out inspections is easy. But anybody can tell you that evaluating the outcome of inspections is a time consuming and administrative burden. Most of the time the analyses do not provide any useful information. Easy to Inspect helps you solving this problem.
Easy to Inspect uses cause codes in the inspection. Why? During an inspection you may find a defect, problem or nonconformity. For instance, a piece of equipment is not inspected in time, a food station is not properly cleaned, a workplace is not arranged in the right way, etc.
It is vital that you can present to your management (or authority, etc.) the reason for the defect or problem. Of course, you can determine this later on, but who is better equipped to identify the direct cause than your inspector in the field. The inspector sees the defect, talks with the people on site and can identify the direct cause in the App. Of course, you can update or modify the cause later on, if during the investigation another reason turns out to be the real cause (see the Easy to Inspect Dashboard).
The unique feature of Easy to Inspect is, that we you now can analyze all cause codes and present them in a nice and clean overview that can be used for your management information. The analysis is ready within seconds and can be repeated as often as you wish.
Easy to Inspect contains standard Not OK cause codes. These cause codes have been developed by our team of experts and are based on standard causes codes to be found in the theoretical models of incident investigations, root cause analysis, quality defect analysis, etc.
- Man: insufficient knowledge
- Man: insufficient skills
- Man: insufficient instruction
- Man: procedures not followed
- Method: no working method in place
- Method: working method insufficient / incorrect
- Method: incorrect working method applied
- Means: not available
- Means: incorrect use
- Means: incorrect means used
- Means: defect
- Means: insufficient maintenance
- Means: excessive wear and tear
- Environment: weather
- Environment: force majeure
- Environment: vandalism
- Environment: third party
And if this set would not fulfil your needs, you can also create your own custom made cause codes.
When you create your checklist, you just select the causes you would like to use in your checklist. The selected set of causes will be used as the default set for the entire checklist you are generating. However, it is possible to vary the causes of which the user can select per question in your checklists. In the App, every time when the inspector fills in a negative score, a cause must be selected (if the function is switched on).
Besides the NOK cause codes you can also use OK or N.A. explanation codes. Sometimes you would like to know why an inspection point is marked as not applicable. Is the item not taking place? is the equipment not present? or is it simply not inspected?
Download our handy help guide for a detailed step by step introduction on creating the cause codes or OK/N.A. explanation codes!
Why you should use a filter?
When analysing the inspection data, you want to be able to select on various subjects, to make subsets that contain relevant information. For instance, you want to know all incidents that occurred during a certain shift, on a specific location, with a specific piece of equipment, etc. This requires registration of the right values during the inspection. To ensure this, you can define these values beforehand and the inspector just have to select from a drop-down menu. This is what we call the filter function of our inspection system.
Easy to inspect provides a basic selection function. When analyzing you always can select on:
- The checklist
- The period (from – to)
- All, one or multiple inspectors
To make better and more selections with Easy to Inspect you can use your custom made filters.The use of filters is important for two reasons.
- It simplifies the use of the checklist in the field, since the inspector only has to choose a pre-set value in a scroll down menu in the App. For instance the city, region, branch, department, license plate, equipment number. This prevents database pollution and saves time during the inspection.
- It enables the depth analysis after a period of time. You could for instance not only analyse the results of inspection checklist ‘A’ but use the filter to analyse all inspections with checklist ‘A’ carried out in Branch ‘X’ in region ‘Y’ on Weekday ‘Z’.
So if you would like to analyse the difference in outcome of work place inspections between the activity ‘road construction’ and ‘sewer infrastructure works’ you have to create a filter.
Of course these are selections that have to be specific for your organisation. No organisation is the same! That’s why we have made the filter function in Easy to Inspect. Just define your selection criteria and make as many filters as you want (you can use max. 3 in one checklist). Implement them in your checklist and you are on your way. After a while you will have enough inspection data to create powerful in-depth analyses by using the filters.
Download our handy help guide for a detailed step by step introduction on using the filters!
Think before your start!
One important groundrule!
You might want to start immediately! Just use a pre-defined checklist or create one yourself. We would like you to get the most out of our tool.
Please don’t start with the idea that you just carry out an inspection. Place yourself in the position of management. What should be the outcome of the inspections? Just the evidence that an inspection was carried out? Or more?
And you already know the answer to this question. Management wants more…… Management needs information to decide and act upon. So, if you start creating your own checklist, think about the level of detail you would like to get in your analyses. Explore our filter- and cause features and use these to get real management information.
Once a question is published you cannot change it anymore. No filters can be added, no questions can be added. The reason is that this would disturb the analyzes. So, it is very important to ‘think before you start’!
Easy to inspect is not just a tool to carry out inspections easily. It is also meant for creating management information! To get most out of Easy to Inspect please be aware of our ‘golden rules’.
- Each question in the checklist has to be answered positively: with “OK”. In the analyzis we use NOK findings to identify the problem areas! Furthermore, the nonconformity module is designed for ‘not OK’ or ‘no’ scored questions. Although other question options are included, we recommend to use the OK/NOK/NA question type as much as possible.
- The inspection date is a default item and is already always available. You don’t have to generate a ‘date’ question.
- The name of the inspector is a default item and is already always available. You don’t have to generate a ‘name of the inspector’ question.
- If a question is answered with NOK, we advise to require to apply the cause code as a mandatory setting. Why? Otherwise the analysis will have less or no value for your management! When you create a checklist, you can select which causes are to be included and may be selected by the inspector. You can use the Easy to Inspect standard cause codes or select your own cause codes. You can also combine. Tip: always include the cause code ‘unknown’.
- Would you like to use your own cause codes in a checklist? Create these own cause codes before you create a new checklist.
- We advise you to also use the explanation codes in case N.A. answers are being selected. It could be helpful to see why an inspection point is marked as not applicable. Lack of time, activity not taking place, tools/equipment not present.
- Easy to inspect has a filter function. In depth analyses can be created very quickly by using filters. However, the filters have to be built in your checklist when you create it. It is not possible to create a in depth analysis when filters are not built in. You can also include introduction questions in your checklist. The answers to these introduction questions provide general information and will be displayed in the report. You cannot use them for filtering.
- You can create multiple filters and use three filters in each checklist. You can use a specific filter in multiple checklists. Make sure you can recognize your filter when you must select it. So, create a name in which the filter labels are included like: Region – Country – State or Branch – Activity.
- When a filter value is obsolete, the administrator can hide this value for the users. The filter value cannot be deleted. This would influence existing inspection-results and analyzes.
- The standard Easy to Inspect checklist are default available to all users. The administrator can disable them and ensure that only your own checklists are visible and can be used.
- You best create a checklist in your pre-set language. Easy to Inspect offers the option to use the same checklist in multiple languages. If you are not using this multiple language tool, you just select your default language when you create the checklist. All fields in the other languages are then filled with the default language, until you translate them.
- Please note! if you publish a checklist, the checklist cannot be modified. Why? Only this way we can guarantee consistent analysis results. So please check your checklist before publishing it. Use our preview function to verify. Of course, you can add filter values.
- Please note! if you publish a checklist, the checklist cannot be removed. Why? Only this we can guarantee consistent analysis results. An obsoleted checklist can however be hidden from the users in the App.
Download help guide
We made a handy guide that leads you through all the steps of making a checklist.
Although making a checklist is very easy, designing an intelligent checklist that makes the most of the nifty Easy to Inspect possibilities, requires some more effort.
Please check out all the guidance in the help guide, so you get the most of our tool! You can find this guide here. You can also find the guide on this website under FAQ -> downloads. The guide is also available in Dutch here.
If you need any assistance or you simply don’t have the time to include your checklist in the Easy to Inspect system, please contact us. We provide an very affordable start up service.