Every day, people worldwide use Microsoft Excel to handle an enormous range of management situations. They develop solutions, use them in their daily work, pass them on internally and to larger communities. You as a professional in your specific environment know best which exact processes, procedures, work items and methods can benefit from a structured approach supported by simple Excel.
When thinking about the development of a new template, it is useful to start with thinking about what you want to achieve with it. Templates may support and guide people through a process, procedure, workflow, or similar. They may also focus on establishing a certain method, or be an important piece within a wider methodology.
Using these terms, we should always remember that a method generally defines the specific means or modes of doing something—such as a work instruction—while a methodology rather describes general frameworks of how to approach a certain topic—such as a specific way to implement a corporate strategy, containing processes, sub–processes, methods, etc. Methodologies, methods, processes, work flows, procedures and work items are generally interrelated.
So, when you develop a solution with Excel and Carbono, you might want to first lay out the architecture of what you want to build. Once this is done, you can more easily evolve your ideas, and develop further solutions from what you already have created. It´s not very different from designing a software system—with Microsoft Excel being your programming language.
A typical thing to develop with the help of Carbono are Excel templates (or sets of templates) that support management or operational processes. Here are some examples: expense reporting; annual performance evaluation; RFP process in a sourcing project; gathering field input for demand planning; warehouse inventory tracking; supplier information gathering; retail prices gathering for market intelligence; call centre customer contact information; client satisfaction inquiry in after sales.
So, here´s a general frame of macro processes, just for your inspiration:
And here´s another frame—or, rather a map of sub–processes in the procurement area—that we mention just as one example of how vast development opportunities related to processes are:
There are many situations where a certain way to doing things is more effective than the other ways. It may be the items on a checklist that lead to success. Or, a certain sequence to execute activities. Or, a list of crucial participants in a process. Or, the level of detail that is inserted in a form sheet. All of this may make things function better when doing it one way, and not the other.
So, again just for inspiration, here is an overview—limited, of course—of methods and specific processes in the production area:
Methodologies address a certain topic from a wider perspective. They usually result in a set of processes, workflows, procedures, methods, etc. The range of topics is so broad that we won´t even try to make a more complete list.
However, just to illustrate how rich the development of a management methodology with the help of Carbono as an enabler via the use of the ´universal language Microsoft Excel´ can be, here´s an illustrative break down of macro phases of a Post-Merger Integration Program. You could easily spend years of your career developing useful Excel templates for this, with application in hundreds of client cases in today´s globalizing world…