"I didn't know my spreadsheet could do that!"
Their eyes light up. The wheels begin to turn. Another revised Excel spreadsheet has just been demonstrated. “I didn’t know my spreadsheet could do that!”, is a thought that causes the user to pause and ponder other ways their day to day operations can be improved. So why doesn’t this happen more often?
A common theme found among businesses is that they use Excel already, realize that its powerful features could be utilized better, yet don’t really know where to start. It is this “not knowing” that leads to inaction, forcing users to continue using a spreadsheet that could be so much more efficient. This inaction can be traced back to a couple of factors: businesses are pressed for time and more advanced Excel features can be a bit daunting to use.
It often takes a demonstration or explanation to show how spreadsheet operations could be improved when features are utilized to their full potential. The teaching aspect is a large part of the improvement process because unless the user knows there is a better way to do things, changes won’t likely happen on their own.
Promoting an environment of change and improvement within a business doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task though. By improving just one spreadsheet, consider the impact it could have on users and the subsequent satisfaction that comes when using business tools that function at a high level.
How can an outside perspective help your business?
The phone rings again. New meetings are scheduled. Internal and external requests continue to add up. Does this sound familiar? Many managers and employees don’t have the luxury of extra time to continuously review tools and processes they are using for how they can be made more efficient.
One of the areas commonly overlooked are Excel spreadsheets. Sure, we all know how to create and use spreadsheets but why do so many businesses settle for spreadsheets that are “just good enough” when they can be so much more useful to an organization?
The simple answer is that many businesses don’t have the time to slow down, brainstorm and implement improvement changes on their own. These improvements however can have a significant positive impact on the operations and efficiency of a business while introducing a new way of thinking which can lead to new ideas.
The role of an outside perspective working alongside your business is to be able to look at the current situation and suggest ways to improve, all without being mired in the day-to-day activities. Businesses thrive on fresh ideas and prompt decisions and all it takes is for a small improvement to be made to have a large impact on an organization.