I would keep the Excel document for all of the check-off's. This way you can have something to print off if you need it along the way. Use a calculation in the Excel file that determines if the check-off's are complete. Link a file property to that calculation field (e.g. Status). Link your data card variable to the file property. Setup an automatic transition in the Workflow which moves the Excel file to the next State only when the variable is populated correctly. It seems like several steps to setup but it should work well once it is done. You will need to teach people to check out and check in the Excel file to populate the check-off's, so there will be some training to make it useful.
Checklists are bad news unless they report "live" data. Otherwise, you will quickly become the guy wearing the biggest target on your back in your organization. I always recommend using live dashboards which happen to be my specialty.
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My company can help you navigate through this. This is an easy and cost effective way to handle ECO's. All you need is a data card...with Excel.
We can also program custom EPDM add-ins.