Excel Spreadsheet Tool for Evaluating Consequences

November 25, 2008

Excel Spreadsheet Tool for Evaluating Consequences magnify

Excel Spreadsheet Tool for Evaluating Consequences
~James Dunn

A major problem in today’s society is that decisions are often made based upon how someone feels rather than upon observable fact. I’ve developed a tool, modeled in Excel, that allows complex relationships to be documented and interrelated, so that the outcome can be reasonably assured.

An on-going work – http://mt211l.pbwiki.com
click on Result Management link to download the Excel spreadsheet template.

We set goals in our lives, our professions, and even relationships. A desired Goal is composed many supporting conditions that must be present for the Goal to be realized. Also, each Goal has many qualities that give value to the Goal. Correspondingly, each condition will in some way influence the qualities of desired Goal.

In the spreadsheet, if a condition is strongly related to a quality, a value between 1 and 100 is assigned; where 100 represents strongly related.

The adjacent picture shows one page of an Excel spreadsheet that represents one result or condition. The desired result is composed of the required conditions in the left column and each quality is listed across the top row. The number of rows and/or columns is dependent upon the desired result, not the spreadsheet; add or subtact rows/columns as necessary.

If all of the conditions leading to a result are identified, then all of the qualities should be strongly related. If not, then there are conditions that you perhaps just don’t know about and you should seek other people or sources which can contribute to your total understanding of the desired goal. Two heads are better than one, a hundred are better than two. The tool described here can be web compliant and allow people from all over the world to help develop your strategies for achieving your goals.

Each condition is often a product of many sub-conditions which must be met before being applicable to the final desired goal. This may mean that a condition must be evaluated just like the overall desired goal, where the sub-conditions are listed on the left of the spreadsheet and the desired qualities of that condition are listed across the top of spreadsheet.

Where a series of conditions are time dependent (one completing before the next), simply draw an arrow next to consecutive conditions to note the requirement. This helps to keep complex relationships understandable.

There should be a separate workbook/spreadsheet for each condition leading to a result. The reason for this is that often times we “think” we have a good understanding of the requirements that will lead us to our desired goal. Only to find out that we were ignorant of a small point that broke the chains of consequence and we fail to realize our goals.

Being ignorant is where ALL of us live throughout our lives; a physician knows little to nothing about engineering, and so the reverse is true as well. Ignorance is a normal state of being for humans. This tool helps to identify where we are ignorant so that we can educate ourselves rather than continue to fool ourselves. If we can reduce our risk of failure, that’s a good thing.

We ultimately must learn from experience/failure, but we can learn from intellectual evaluation and reduce how often we fail at achieving a goal. If you were going to spend $100,000 on building a house, wouldn’t you want to keep from wasting money because you had to tear down your work and start over again because you didn’t get the right city permit? Or because the permit required the use of certain materials? The tool described here can help avoid just such a situation.

With determination and tools to record the correct methodologies, REPEATED failures can be largely avoided; and often times avoided before ever being implemented.

As cited earlier, we as children are not taught how to achieve desired goals. How to make money, what to study at college, how to find a mate, how to interact successfully with our government, how to develop a business, … So if you try to use this technique and it works for you, teach it to your children. If it doesn’t work for you, please provide me with feedback so that I can evaluate how to make it a better tool.


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