It is not a joke. Although at the beginning when I said that I had to write a post about a code of conduct for collaborative Excels, it was. The last file I opened this morning made me change my mind quickly. Once again it has made me despair. I am convinced that there is a real need to define some basic rules when working with Excels between several people.
Problems That Can Arise From an Erroneous Edition of an Excel
An erroneous edition or without taking into account some basic guidelines can cause many problems. In most cases, employees are not aware of the possible consequences.
Analysis problems and consequently erroneous conclusions.
Potential loss of information.
Risk of misinterpretation of data.
Waste of time among all collaborators.
8 basic guidelines when you work collaborative Excels
I am aware of the existence of online tools that allow Belarus WhatsApp Number better collaboration when there is more than one person involved in the preparation of a file. It is also true that in real life we cannot always wait for a perfect environment. Sometimes a simple exchange by e-mail is the fastest way to obtain the result we are looking for. By respecting some basic guidelines in the elaboration of Excels we can improve the result by shortening the elaboration time.
1. The initial structure is not touched : Although it may not be ideal, the initial structure of the Excel is not touched anymore. It is what it is and you have to respect the format that the person who created it chose. Doing generates discussions that waste time. There are always exceptions where a change justifies a substantial improvement to the brewing process.
2. Avoid Using Colors to Define a Status :
The colors in an Excel in case they are already problematic. Many files that have passed through my desk are more like a rainbow than a collection of data. A status is not defined by coloring the cell. It has a name and in the “best” of cases we even always use the same term.
3. Do not go beyond the traffic light colors : to highlight some points and facilitate quick reading, the limited use of colors may be acceptable. To avoid confusion, do not go beyond the “traffic light” colors.
4. Avoid capitalization – This point is probably a “tick” of mine. When I see capital letters in a post or anywhere else I get hysterical. The worst is the use in comments because you have the feeling that people are yelling at you. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Try to avoid the use of capital letters as long as the keyboard of your laptop or computer does not prevent you.
5. Always Use the Same Terms :
Do not change terms when you refer to the same thing. A “car” cannot change to a “car” or a “vehicle” when it comes to the same concept. It does not seem complicated but it is one of the frequent cases that I see in collaborative Excels.
6. Fill all the cells : due to lack of discipline or negligence, not all the cells of an Excel are always filled. When generating graphics or dynamic tables, these missing data do not generate a correct result of what you want to project.
7. Work with versions : errors can always happen. In order to easily recover previous versions it makes sense to work with versions. In these, you should only change the date without giving the file a proper name. It greatly simplifies the documentation and recovery of data at the time it is necessary.
8. Avoid creating unnecessary sheets : there are Excels that contain dozens of sheets. In most cases it would have been enough to add a column. Apart from having everything in one place, it avoids errors and saves time for all collaborators.
Obviously this post falls short of being a code of conduct. We don’t really need one when some basic collaboration guidelines are followed. In the end, you should always treat an Excel with enough care so that the next one is able to work on it without wasting time correcting errors or interpreting them.