Developed by : Ian Hayman, London Ontario, Canada
GETTING THINGS DONE: MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH OUR CLIENTS
WORKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE OPEN ISSUES TRACKING SHEETS
You will notice that there are two tabs, in the worksheet. The First tab is for current or active “Open
Issues” that have been identified as being significant for tracking and follow up with our clients.
The second tab is for “Closed Issues” which is the storage area for all issues which have been
completed as satisfactory by both you and your client, and have been moved to “archive” them. They
never disappear. These are for our records later on in life, when we complete our 90, 180 and 270 day
reviews with our clients. This is extremely beneficial for our quarterly reviews.
The key is to “cut” the entire row, sequence number and all, of the completed task, from the OPEN
ISSUES sheet and “paste it” to the “CLOSED ISSUES” tab. You don’t even have to worry about
what order they are transferred or completed, because all of the sorting can be done by excel
afterwards, depending on what you wish to emphasize.
The following key identifiers indicate what to fill in where on the OPEN ISSUES MASTER excel
X The circle and the enclosed keyed number indicate the field we are referencing.
The numbers below correspond to the numbers in circles on the OPEN ISSUES, KEYED
INSTRUCTION SHEET. This file is for reference only and has been locked for your review. TO
UNLOCK THE FILE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS
The master sheet excel file which is to be used for your clients is called OPEN ISSUES, MASTER.
You may want to save this as a master and then copy to keep it from becoming corrupted.
Open the file named OPEN ISSUES, KEYED INSTRUCTION SHEET and follow the instructions
corresponding to the numbered items below. The numbers below reference the keyed numbers on the
fields or cells in the excel spread sheet.
1. Enter your name here
2. Enter your contact phone number
3. Enter your e-mail address
4. This is the date you initiate the OPEN ISSUES format. This is a good piece of tracking data for
5. This is the date of the latest revision. This is important, to ensure you are both working from the
latest sheet, no questions asked.
6. This is the date of the latest current revision. This may be the same as or different from item #5
7. This is the sum total of all open issues ever put in this tracking format. Use this to show value to
8. This is a clear statement of how many OPEN ISSUES are past due by your client.
9. This is the number of issues that we have closed and or completed successfully.
10. This is the number of OPEN ISSUES that both parties identify as Critical to success.
11. This is our client’s company name
12. This is our primary contact or the involved partner of the client’s company.
13. The phone number of our client
14. Client’s e-mail address, we use this to send the form once completed…. Easy as pie!
15. This is the title or name of the task. Keep it simple, not too long. It should be specific enough that
you both understand what it means.
16. These are the basic details that you need to describe for the task or assignment. The field wraps the
text, so be specific, clear and concise. This is not a word document or a project report. This
identifies the important goals, and details
17. This the date that the item gets initiated in the OPEN ISSUES tracking sheet. This date never ever
18. This is the person, the individual, who is accountable for getting the task completed in its entirety
and on time. This may not be the one who actually does the work. This is the one who needs to
come to the table to ensure completion is achieved.
19. This is a general info field. Use it sparingly. It is not intended to take away from the “details”
field. It is secondary information.
20. This is the infamous TARGETTED COMPLETION DATE. Once this is agreed upon by both
parties, THIS DATE NEVER EVER CHANGES. NEVER….. EVER.
21. This is the status update column where you can identify the status of the issue in terms that you
both understand. Normally this is “urgent” “past due” or “Critical”. This is not “on schedule”.
The whole reason for the OPEN ISSUES tracking sheets is to keep things on schedule.
22. This is the date that the item, discipline or assignment is completed based on the goals and
objectives originally set out in “details” This must be entered, before you transfer the line item to
the “CLOSED ISSUES” tab. Just a note here, if you leave closed issues on the sheet for one week,
then you have automatically got some “wins” to discuss with your client when you meet, or call
together on the next call. We need wins! And this just emphasizes the wins. They work hard to
get them, celebrate them.
Teach your client how to read the form, use the information, and understand the reasons for this
tracking system. If you don’t, it will look like you are being punitive, and possibly condescending.
This is their tool too.
Lastly, protect the sheet when you send it. Lock it so no changes can be made. You control the
document, not them. This is for us…. To manage our clients, and extract major benefit and to leverage
Good luck. The benefits are almost endless.
See instructions on page 3
TO UNLOCK FILE IN EXCEL:
INSTRUCTIONS TO UNLOCK A FILE IN EXCEL
Click on Tools in the header bar at the top of the excel spreadsheet
Click on Protection from the drop down menu under tools
Click on Unprotect Sheet…..
Follow the same procedure to protect the sheet again.
For additional assistance, go to excel “help” and follow the instructions