Spreadsheet Models for Managers

Getting Access to Spreadsheet Models for Managers

If Spreadsheet Models for Managersyou use Excel to model businesses, business processes, or business transactions, this course will change your life. You’ll learn how to create tools for yourself that will amaze even you. Unrestricted use of this material is available in two ways.

As a stand-alone Web site
It resides on your computer, and you can use it anywhere. No need for Internet access.
At this Web site
If you have access to the Internet whenever you want to view this material, you can purchase on-line access. Unlimited usage. I’m constantly making improvements and you’ll get them as soon as they’re available.

To Order On Line

Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, on-line edition, one month" by credit card, for USD 69.95 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.
Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, on-line edition, three months" by credit card, for USD 199.00 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.
Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, downloadable hyperbook edition" by credit card, for USD 199.00 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.

To Order by Mail

Make your check payable to Chaco Canyon Consulting, for the amount indicated:
  • For the download: USD 199.00
  • For access online for three months: USD 199.00
  • For access online for one month: USD 69.95
And send it to:
Chaco Canyon Consulting
700 Huron Avenue, Suite 19C
Cambridge, MA 02138

To use the course software you’ll need some other applications, which you very probably already have. By placing your order, you’re confirming that you have the software you need, as described on this site.

Spreadsheet Models for Managers

Convolution 4/5
Session Links
  • Convolution is an operation on two data streams
    • One stream is the base response — the response to a “basic input”
    • The other is the sequence of inputs
  • Example: Productivity of a new hire
    • When you hire someone
      • The “base response” or “response to a basic input” is their contribution to overall production
      • The “basic input” is the hiring of one person
    • To find the productivity of a stream of hires, you “convolve” the “base response” (productivity of a single hire) with the “sequence of inputs” (hiring schedule)


Think of a system as a complex business process, such as the process that handles a new hire. Now, in most companies, this process isn’t controlled by a single department. For example, the HR department handles some of it — badging, sign-up for retirement plans, health plan enrollment, etc. And some of the process is handled by the hiring manager’s department — request for office door nameplate, phone request, etc. And other processes are triggered by all these processes — telephone installation, furniture moves, and so on. It’s all pretty complex, but in terms of person-hours, it’s possible to compute the hours expended each day in support of the hiring process for the first year. One hopes that it trails off to zero before the first month ends. It might not, but in most organizations, it probably does. This curve we’re imagining is the base response — the response of the system to a single hire.

To compute the load resulting from a hiring stream — two hires today, one tomorrow, 13 the next, and so on — you just add up scaled copies of the base response, delayed appropriately for each start date.

Adding up those scaled and delayed copies of the base response gives the same result as convolving the hiring stream with the base response.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 27-Apr-2016 04:15:26 EDT

Avoid Unnecessary Spaces in Formulas

The space character, in many cases, doesn’t change the value of a formula. For instance, these two formulas return the same value:

  • =A1 + 2
  • =A1+2

Some people think that well-placed spaces make formulas easier to read. Although that might be true, the practice is both inconvenient and extremely dangerous. More

Keyboard Power Tips

Excel’s online help, and many of the how-to books you can buy, provide long lists of keystroke shortcuts for carrying out specific operations, such as inserting rows, selecting regions, or deleting columns. And they are useful.

But the true power of the keyboard comes not from using these particular commands. Rather, it comes from learning combinations that are useful for particular situations that you encounter frequently.

For instance, there’s no command for deleting the rows that contain the selected cells, but there is a combination:

  • Shift+Space selects the rows that contain the selection.
  • Ctrl+- deletes the now-selected rows.

And so, Shift+Space Ctrl+- deletes the rows containing the selection.

Learning a vast array of keystroke commands is probably less useful than learning the keystroke combinations that do exactly what you need to do most often.