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

Starting Your Project

Most significant efforts at work are rather complicated. Since your Course Project is meant to emulate what happens in a significant effort at work, it, too, is a bit complicated. Here are some suggestions for getting started on your project.

Getting started on a significant effort can be difficult for some. One common difficulty is not knowing where to begin. To deal with this, remember: it’s more important to begin — anywhere — than it is to begin in the “perfect” place. So if you’re doing something — anything — that’s better than doing nothing. If you’re reading this, you’ve already started.

To get started on your project, you’ll have to know about or make decisions about the following things:

  1. What the deadlines are
  2. Who you want to work with
  3. What you’ll have to deliver
  4. What the project will be about

Knowing your deadlines can be a valuable motivator. Read through the page that describes the project, but really focus on the dates and deadlines. Make a little summary of all of them, and maybe add them to your calendar. That will get you focused on what to do next.

Next, think a little about what the project will be about. It turns out not to matter much at this stage, because your teammates will have ideas, too. And when you settle on a team, it’s very possible that the team will end up doing something that nobody had in mind at first. So think about your project content in general terms, but details aren’t important until you have a team in place.

That brings us to forming a team. You’ll need to meet, in person or virtually, many times. Try to team with people who have similar interests, who live in time zones not far from you, and who have compatible schedules. Use the Team forum of the course discussion board to find suitable matches. Remember: this project is much easier if you have at least one partner.

Once you have a team, it’s time to consider what you’ll have to deliver. Go back to the page that describes the project, and this time, comb through it for a complete list of what has to be done. You can divide the page among your teammates to save some work. When you’ve all digested what’s required, get together and talk about a project topic. Knowing what you’ll have to deliver can help you narrow down a topic.

Finally, it’s time to start the proposal. Your TAs can be very helpful here. Go to a lab session and ask your TA to comment on your ideas. If you can attend as a team, that’s best, because all of you can ask questions and hear what the TA has to say.

Two last suggestions: read the “Common Mistakes in Past Student Projects”. Very enlightening. Also take a look at the lessons learned in the Final Reports of the projects in the project library.

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

Deciding What to Read

The first homework assignment has a fair amount of reading attached to it. Some students feel that the best approach is to read it all, and then try to do the homework. For most of us, such an approach doesn’t work very well.

Before you begin the course, read the general material, such as “Getting Started,” “Software You Need for This Course,” and “How to Work.”

Later, as you begin the homework, let the homework drive your reading choices. For instance, the first homework assignment does require that you master certain techniques. Read “Names” and “The Ripple Principle.” Then, if something confuses you, read up on it: examples are “The Basics of Recalculation” and “References.” Learning something when you need it, and only when you need it, is usually the best way to go.

Avoid Redundant Parentheses

Parentheses sometimes make a real difference. For instance A1*B1+2 is very different from A1*(B1+2). But A1*(B1*2) is exactly the same as A1*B1*2. When the parentheses don’t make any difference in the value of the result, it’s not usually a good idea to include them. They tend to make the formulas harder to read, and there’s always the chance that you’ll put them in the wrong place. More