Check Sheet

Skill level: Basic


Check sheets provide an easy, intuitive, non-intrusive way to collect and tally data in real time. A check sheet will allow a person to follow a process and make a simple “check” or other mark to indicate that an event happened.
Many times, check sheets are used to collect the frequency of different failures, but they can be used for any event or outcome, positive or negative. They can also include a time element, either in terms of frequency per unit of time or steps of a process. A check sheet can also be used to identify location of events.


  • Simplicity
  • Visually communicates the frequency of events and may reveal patterns
  • Can be stored for use later and compared with other check sheets collected at different times or locations
  • Can be used real time with minimal process disruption

How to Use

  • Step 1.  Name the process (use verb/adjectives).
  • Step 2.  Identify the events that will be tracked.
  • Step 3.  Indicate time scales or frequency.
  • Step 4.  Lay out the check sheet to follow the process and reveal patterns.
  • Step 5.  Implement the check sheet and determine if there are elements that are missing and if the check sheet is non-intrusive.
  • Step 6.  Review the data either by reviewing the check sheets directly or by analyzing electronically.

Relevant Definitions

Not Applicable


Location-based check sheet:

A tire service company, ABC Tires, uses a check sheet to indicate areas of concern on individual tires and on tires that need to be replaced on a car. The service technician simply checks the area or tire that is being serviced or will need replacement. The diagram is shared with the customer for approval prior to performing the service and after the service to document work performed for billing purposes.


Time-based check sheet:

Cable service provider Big Cable Inc. has implemented a check sheet for its field repair technicians in order to understand the quantity and types of parts to include in service van inventory. The check sheet consists of simple failure point questions that attempt to isolate the parts quantities used by a technician within one day. The plan is to optimize the stocking level. Each van will be reloaded using this “optimum stock” list.

Using this check sheet, it is easy to determine the most frequently used component. Through the collection of many such sheets an optimal stocking level can be developed.


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