50+ Sample Project Initiation Document Checklists

What Is a Project Checklist?

A project checklist serves a vital role in project management. It is a written or digitally-made document used to ensure that no steps (or items) that you have included in the project planning checklist are forgotten or left undone. Like most checklists do, a project checklist reminds you of what needs to be done and assurance of what has been done once the items are checked off the list.

Having a project checklist allows you to establish a “mini-plan” of everything that needs to be considered in one place. With a project checklist, you can cluster a group of items for better comparative assessments of what you are doing. Thus, it is a good idea to invest in creating a checklist before starting any undertaking as you will have something to refer back to throughout the life cycle of the project.

According to a recent post by Glassdoor, project managers who work in the US earn an average of 87,000 dollars per year on top of other benefits. This salary rate is below the average yearly salary which is 94,700 dollars, but above the low bracket of 24,000 dollars.

Did you know that having a checklist enhances your memory in a stressful situation and motivates you when you feel overwhelmed? An article published by Thrive Global said that Science shows writing a list can help you remember things better, especially in a high-stress environment. Also, physically writing down what is on your plate can encourage you to get things done more efficiently when it comes to staying on top of your to-do list.

Nine Points to Kick Off  Your Project Checklists

Before creating your own project checklist, there are some things you need to consider. Although checklist-making is a task you can Google or you already know how to do, the list below will help you come up with a stronger and more efficient project management tool. Also, keep in mind that anyone who is tasked to look after a project, whether it is small or not, is a project manager. Here are the nine things you must ponder on prior to making your to-do list.

Think Of a Vision: Anyone who is associated with project management would agree that having a clear vision statement is very important. To make a vision statement or, as some refer to as project charter, make sure that it binds the whole project together. It must embody the following characteristics: the vision statements are in line with the beliefs and the mission of the organization; provide expected outcome; will be most impacted by the project; and indicate the tools, technologies, and other resources for the completion of the project.Identify Available Resources: While executing the project, you will realize that you have no access to unlimited resources. That is why it is crucial to identify the people, equipment, and other essential resources for your project. Ensure that each resource is distributed properly and all your members are not overwhelmed by burnout. Indicate Project Scope: The project scope identifies the features and functions of your final product. In other words, it sets out the things you need to get done and defines the areas beyond your interest. Indicating the project scope, consult with the people involved in the project because the last thing you want to happen is completing the project without the assistance of other stakeholders.Set Up a Communication Plan: Effective communication has always been essential in achieving success, especially with project management. It is a project manager’s duty to keep everyone on the same page. Consequently, every member of your team has different communication requirements according to their role and involvement. Include this in your communication plan might as well.Identify the People Involved: Aside from your team members, anyone who is impacted or who can make an impact on the project is considered a stakeholder. It is important for project managers to communicate with them and keep them in the loop. Additionally, customers, consultants, vendors, and management are stakeholders too. To keep them involved, see how much influence they can contribute to the project and set out an engagement plan.Work on a Plan: Every successful project starts with a unit plan. A good plan sets out your goals. In order to achieve these goals, you have to establish steps and measurable actions. Also, a plan helps in making relevant decisions and knowing what tasks should be prioritized. A project schedule and project timeline should be part of this phase as well. Create a Work Breakdown Structure: A work breakdown structure or WBS is not integral for many projects in most parts and many teams can operate without it. However, if you are to manage a more complex project, WBS can be very helpful as it can simplify and visualize the project you have. Because tasks are interconnected in complex projects, visualization is important—helps you understand the complete project as a whole and in decision making.Work on the Budget: The budget plan is the bloodline of any project. With that being said, budgeting is the most important skill when it comes to managing a project. In some cases when a project fails, most issues come from budgeting. It is not arguable that you need to focus on this stage to make sure you have enough monetary resources to cover up the project’s cost.Prepare a Risk Management Strategy: It is important for you, as a project manager, to make sure that your project remains unaffected by any hazard. Even though you are completely prepared, risks in your projects are a natural part. In this case, make sure you know how to deal when adversity arrives with a risk management strategy.

How to Create a Project Checklist

If your job description does not mention managing projects but you have a project due in a couple of weeks, you may be running in the same circle trying to figure out what to do first. Fear no more! You have come to the right place because we are here to help. The list below will guide you in making a basic project checklist that works. Let us take a look.

Step 1: Ask Around

Whether you are a beginner at making a project checklist or not, the very first thing to do is ask around. You may have a colleague who has done a checklist before, ask them for some tips. If calling a friend is not one of your options, then look it up on the internet. There are many resources you can find online that talks about checklists. Just make sure they are reliable. As you go in-depth with your groundwork, begin taking down notes. Write down important things you think will be beneficial in your task. You will know when to stop your research when every question in your head is answered and nothing stays in the gray of your mind.

Step 2: Begin With a Draft

Now that you have an idea where and how to begin, kick off a draft. This will help you with the structure of your task list. One of the most effective ways to do this is to start with an outline. It will break down your ideas into smaller ideas. Then fill them out with supporting details. You can refer to the elements above to extend your outline. Remember that a draft is just temporary, which means you can freely write your thoughts in it. At the end of your task, edit the draft to finalize.

Step 3: Look for References

You can refer to an old checklist from a previous one if there is any. But do not make a duplicate of that checklist. It is important to keep in mind every project is different from each other similar to there is no project checklist alike. Use your reference as a foundation of your checklist. Then build it up with relevant data for your project. Furthermore, if you have no access to any older checklist, this only leaves you with one option: start from scratch and create a new one. But we will make things easier at your end. The next step will be your saving grace.

Step 4: Use a Checklist Template

You probably already know the different ways to create a project checklist. One of those is by using a template. For your template needs, browse through our collection of ready-made stencils. We curated this collection so that every template is fitting to your needs, from travel checklist down to task checklist. All you have to do is sign up for any of our subscription plans. After that, you can click the download button and, voila, you have your own checklist template. To modify your template, use a compatible editing tool for the best result.


Why do you need a project checklist?

You need a checklist because a project does not have to be as complicated as it seems.  When you are juggling a lot of tasks and there is too much on your plate, it is impossible to finish things properly. A checklist will cover the essentials of your project so that you do not forget a thing.

What should a project checklist include?

A basic project checklist must define the project clearly. It should also present the objective of the project and its main purpose. Moreover, constraints must be identified too as a project is interdependent to them.

How to set goals for project checklist?

Setting goals plays a vital role in planning. Do this by meeting with the stakeholders and discuss the possible outcomes. Turn the output into a comprehensive action list, and prioritize the needs. Use the SMART principle to review your goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).

A well-made project checklist does not only gets things done but also saves you time. Use your project flow checklist with a commitment to serve its intended purpose. For more templates, visit our website today. There you will find an array of editable templates that you can use in your daily tasks.