This information is for consulting customers who have contracted Crane Softwrights Ltd. for development work. To manage and monitor the development and maintenance tasks in real time, a Google spreadsheet is used to record and track identified activities.

1. Activity tracking using Google spreadsheets

Crane has successfully managed a number of remote development projects using a Google spreadsheet to report on identified tasks, their status, and a record of deliveries and the tasks each delivery addresses.

The top "active pending decisions or action items" section lists those identified activities that have yet to be addressed. The numbering in column A increases down (oldest at top). The priority/difficulty is entered by the person who will be doing the task, not the person who is first identifying the task. Use H-high, M-medium and L-low such as "H/M" for "high priority and medium difficulty".

The "coded but not yet delivered" section lists those activities that have been addressed by the person tasked, but not delivered yet to those who need it. The numbering in column A decreases down (newest at top). The person who completes the task moves it to this section. New items and edits are not added to anything moved to this section, only to the top section.

The "inactive pending decisions or action items" section lists those activities that have been put on hold for some reason but the person tasked is not actively working on it. The numbering in column A decreases down (newest at top). This can be edited at any time. When ready to be acted on it is moved to the top section.

The "completed or closed" section lists those activities that have been addressed by the person tasked, but not delivered yet to those who need it. The numbering in column A decreases down (newest at top). The person who receives the results of the task either moves this or asks the person tasked to move it to completed once they've considered what has been done needs nothing more. New items and edits are not added to anything moved to this section, only to the top section.

2. Preserving the record and order

Please don't delete any rows where a reference number has been used in the first column. If the row is no longer needed, mark up the row with the reason why it is no longer needed and then move the row to the "completed or closed" items section.

This practice allows one to audit all of the reference numbers to ensure none have been accidentally removed.

Items in the "active pending decisions or action items" section are ordered in ascending order. Items in all other sections are ordered in descending order. This way the oldest action items needing to be addressed are listed first and the most recent completed items are listed first.

3. Don't be shy

Please don't be shy adding anything to the top "active pending decisions or action items" or the lower "inactive pending decisions or action items", as this will ensure nothing gets overlooked and everyone is in agreement with how the project is progressing.

Also please remember that the only items that should be edited with new information after moving are in those two "active" and "inactive" sections and not in the "coded", "delivered" or "completed" sections. This reduces the amount of time it takes to overview the current status of everything.

4. Signing up

Customers are asked to forward to Crane whichever email address they have associated with a Google Docs account they wish to use to monitor the spreadsheet. You may have multiple email addresses associated with Google accounts, so choose the one (or ones) you will find convenient to follow the progress of development.

4.1. Email notifications

Turn on the Google spreadsheet email notification feature to be informed whenever a change is made to the spreadsheet. Follow the directions under Tools / Notification rules... to detail your requirements.

Note that this may generate a plethora of messages in the event another team member is actively working on the spreadsheet.

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Last changed: $Date: 2013/03/12 18:26:09 $(UTC) (Privacy policy)