I have started to work through Herman Grooten's Chess Strategy for the Club Player. In it he gives the following thought process the origin of which is a book by Karpov and Mazukevich. Grooten has modified it slightly.
- What is the material balance?
- Are there any (direct) threats?
- How is the safety of both Kings? (# attackers, # defenders, pawns)
- Pawn Structure (where are the open lines & diagonals, Are there any strong squares, who is controlling the center, who has more space and where on the board does he have it)
- Which pieces are active and which are not? (compare the activity of the same types of pieces)