Sample Spreadsheet Layout for Multiple Projects
HEADER: Create a custom header with Page # of ## on the left, your department name (or the name given to your group of projects) in the middle, and the date on the right.
FOOTER: Use the middle field in the footer for your name. It will probably be helpful for your manager if you state “Prepared by" before your name.
MARGINS: Set the spreadsheet margins to .75 on the left and right. Allow the header a good 1 ½ inches to set it apart from the body of the spreadsheet.
COLUMNS: Naturally you can create column headings that best reflect your type of work, but the following eight headings worked well for me when I was creating multiple online training courses and other support materials.
APPLICATION NAME: What is the course or document would be listed when it was posted in the Learning Management System or on a Web page?
DELIVERABLE: If it is a course, what is its main emphasis? If it is a document, is it a user manual, a tri-fold cheat sheet, or a job aid?
AUDIENCE: Is the intended audience internal? What department? Is the audience external? Will they be clients, potential customers or suppliers?
CONTACT: Who is the SME, Business Analyst, or Developer responsible for getting you the correct information you need for the deliverable?
DELAYS, ISSUES, UPDATES: This is the widest column because it contains the most text. Use this column to mention the start-up meeting and final meeting, any materials you had to get changed, delayed information from the SME, network or application problems or posting delays. Mention if you are waiting for review or additional information.
STATE: This is a lot like Status, except that the first word in this column was always one of the following: Working, Waiting, Discussion or Complete. Some explanation could follow, but the actual State of the project had to be one of the four. I always formatted the State word in bold to set it off. Any following text would not be bold.
PLANNED COMPLETION DATE: This column was simple: it only contained the number of the week that the project was due. Therefore, the number would be anywhere between 1 and 52.
ACTUAL COMPLETION DATE: This column also only contained the number of the week the project was delivered or posted. At a glance, anyone reviewing the status report could compare these two columns to ascertain whether the staff member was generally on time or generally late.
As mentioned earlier, this spreadsheet approach works well for keeping a running record of your completed projects as well as those in progress.