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

Problem Set 5Session Links
Course Project

Be sure to check the list of worksheet functions that are needed for the homework assignments, to see which new functions (if any) might help with this assignment.

Since macros aren’t permitted in this homework assignment, be certain that the workbook you submit for grading has no macros. Read about how to check your workbooks for macros.

Remember that some problems are slight extensions of what we show you in class, in the demonstrations and in the session notes, and some problems are somewhat ambiguous. This is intended to parallel what you’ll frequently encounter at work. If you feel a bit confused, there are some things you can do to help clarify things.

Before attempting this homework, you might find it helpful to read about:

Your assignment is to write a project proposal for your course project. Each project team is to make only one submission. That’s different from your homework, where each student makes his or her own submission.

Most students jump headlong into the task of writing the proposal, before they understand fully what is required. We recommend against this. Instead, a good place to begin is a page of tips called “Starting Your Project.” It gives you an overview of what’s involved in getting started.

Next, read the page about the course project, and from that develop a list of all the requirements the must be met by the various Word and Excel documents that comprise the project. Some requirements, such as those applying to fonts, affect all Word documents. Other requirements, such as those that specify section titles, apply only to one of the Word documents. Still other requirements, such as the number of input streams, affect the Excel model itself. All told, there are quite a few requirements, and they aren’t neatly listed in the course project page.

That’s intentional on our part. In typical work situations, when you receive a task to perform, the requirements for that task are not as neatly presented as are the homework problems you’ve seen so far in this course. So for this effort, you must not only produce a proposal, but you must also produce it so that it conforms to the detailed requirements listed on the course project page.

Here’s a tip for extracting requirements. The method works for many different kinds of projects, but it’s expressed here specialized to this specific problem: extracting the requirements for your project.

  1. Point your Web browser to the page about the course project.
  2. Select All and then copy the entire page.
  3. Paste it into a new file in Word and save the file.
  4. Delete all the extraneous junk such as headings, navigation menu items, phone numbers, and so on.
  5. Using Find/Replace, convert every sentence into a paragraph.
  6. Now examine every paragraph and decide whether it contains a requirement for the project. If there are no requirements expressed or implied by a paragraph, delete it.
  7. Finally, examine what’s left, and edit it so as to convert it to a requirement of the form “The document (or model) shall X,” or a not-requirement of the form “The document (or model) shall not Y.” If the paragraph expresses or implies more than one requirement or not-requirement, break it up into separate paragraphs.
  8. For each requirement you find, decide what it applies to: Proposal, Midpoint Status Report, Final Report, Usage and Maintenance Guide, Excel Model, some of these or all of these. Group it with others of its kind.

That’s most of the work needed to deduce the requirements. All that remains is to convert it into a document or checklist that you can use when you work on your project.

Your proposal is a Word document that describes the project you intend to do. The format and content of the proposal are described on the course project page.

If your proposal is accepted, you may begin work on your project. Otherwise, you’ll have to revise your proposal until it’s accepted. Since any work you do to implement your project prior to acceptance of your proposal might turn out not to be useful, it’s wise to limit your implementation effort until your project is approved.

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

Over the years, students have submitted hundreds of course projects. Having worked with these teams, and graded their submissions, we’ve noticed patterns in the kinds of issues that tend to be challenging for project teams and individuals as they develop their projects. The most common traps are summarized in a Web page: “Common Mistakes in Past Student Projects.” It isn’t required reading, but we do recommend it.

Do You Know About the Project Library?

We’ve collected examples of course projects students have submitted over the years. They’re stored in the Course Project Library.

Because we change the project requirements every year, the projects in the library aren’t necessarily precise examples of what you’ll be doing, but they do give you some insight into the kind of thing we’re looking for.

Most important, in the Final Report is a section called Lessons Learned. If you take time to read the Lessons Learned from these projects, you’ll be able to avoid the troubles many of your predecessors encountered. There’s little point in repeating the mistakes of others, so take a look at their lessons learned.

Do You Know What a Dynamic Model Is?

In years past, we’ve learned that what makes a model dynamic — as opposed to static — can be difficult to grasp. If you have some doubts yourself, and you haven’t yet looked at the reading on Models vs. Tools, we believe that you will find it helpful.