A client of mine was struggling with a slow Microsoft Excel-based application. This application brought in data from multiple database sources, and utilized pivot tables to explore, analyze, and summarize that data. My client had requested hardware upgrades from their IT department, which their IT department turned down. IT was right; the problem was with the design of the software application itself, that is, how they were utilizing the resources they had.
The client was in fact a team of folks in finance. They were all well-versed in Excel, and their use of database and pivot table integration speaks to their mastery. They had developed, in-house, a myriad of such applications with similar integrations. So it was natural for them to assume that a slow Excel application meant they needed faster processors or more RAM.
They first asked for computer upgrades to satisfy both perceived needs (processors and RAM). Their IT department said, “No, your computers are good enough.” The team then asked for just an upgrade of RAM, to which their IT department replied, “No, you have enough RAM.” Stymied, the team decided to buy new RAM as personal out-of-pocket expenses and install it themselves, which they successfully did. In line with the determination of their IT department, these upgrades had no effect on the performance of their application.
In addition to the slowness, the team also wanted to integrate a few new features. They reached out to me, and the team became my client. As I said at the beginning, it turned out that the slowness of the application was in the design of the application itself, not in the hardware. Without losing any of the old functionality, and adding the new features, I was able to redesign the application to something more Excel-friendly. One of the best things about the “new” application was that it simply better utilized resources they already had.
In honor of this client, I am introducing a new service offering called “Discovery Sessions.” A Discovery Session is a free, 1-hour review of your existing technology and how you’re using it. To take advantage of this Session, you should be ready to talk about places you think are bottlenecks in your processes; as part of this, you’ll also have to share with me what technologies you’re already using, and probably show me a bit of exactly what you’re doing.
If you’re ready to review your technology utilization and reimagine how you spend your workday, Let’s Connect.