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The Excel Syndrome and BPX Templates

An interesting conversation is evolving in the BPX forum around the use, popularity and pure simplicity of Excel spreadsheets. BPX Community member Babu Jayendrancalls the topic The Excel Syndrome.

He triggered a lively conversation focusing on the importance of simplicity and ease in using a software tool and prompted my own thoughts about an Excel sharing gallery, much like the Code Gallery.

It also further prompted me to take a look at some of the useful aids and templates I often gather and hoard. One particularly useful looking template was created by Helmuth Roennefarth.

I asked our content strategist, Audrey Weinland  to upload the Best Practices Excelto the library and make it available to the community, but in order for the community to judge its value, I thought to start a wiki page where we could attach links to such community member supplied templates and user created aids and get some feedback from the community about their usefulness.

This particular example template was created to document “best practices” and seems like it may be a good place to document business process improvement activity assessment.

It’s divided into a number of segments that can be used in the following way:

Each Best Practice includes a two-page template. The template should be properly filled out and include the following information:

  • Pain points – what is the organization trying to improve with its Best Practice?
  • Benefits achieved – what are the concrete, tangible results desired when implementing the Best Practice?
  • KPI’s affected – what KPI’s have been affected and how?
  • Main aspects of the Best Practice – highlights of the Best Practice
  • Organizational prerequisites – how must an entity be structured to implement such a Best Practice? What departments / areas are affected?
  • Effort for implementation – how much time and manpower is required to implement this Best Practice?
  • Success factors – what factors are required to have a positive affect on the outcome of the implementation?
  • System support – what transactions or programs are required for this Best Practice to work?
  • Attachments (if applicable)

Based on this template, a reviewer should be able to get a clear idea of the Best Practice and why it has been submitted as a Best Practice. However, additional documentation from the Practice Owner is necessary to enable the Reviewer to make an informed decision. Additional documentation could be:

  • A process flowchart
  • A calculation of savings / efficiencies
  • System details (transaction codes, for example)

Take a look and see what you think of it and feel free to hop on over to the BPX community wiki and add to a template repository:

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