Friday, March 19, 2010
Introducing the fire to the tribe...
Recently I had a project where some help from one of the sales reps was needed, a very nice guy and I do not doubt his skills in his core profession of selling our stuff. But what I needed was some quantative estimates of quite a complicated nature and since this is a recurring thing I spent quite some time making an automated excel spreadsheet where just some inputs were required to get everything automatically calculated.
Stupid as I was, I didn't really think much about and just assumed that he would figure it out if he played around with it a little and just gave him a very quick explanation of how the file worked.
Then he came today and told me that he had finished it and handed me over printed out copies of the sheets where he had, with a pen, written in his figures and apparently struggled a bit with the calculator a bit to try and get the figures right... I looked at the sheets and I think he saw my confusion since he asked "Oh, maybe I should have put them in the file...?". "Nah, it's ok, I'll put it in" I answered and demonstrated to him while he stood there how I just fed in the figures needed and how all the complicated calculations then took care of themselves without any need to do it manually.
He seemed a bit baffled when he realized how simple it was and how the time he had spent on it had been a complete waste of time (he probably spent about half a day on it...). But the next time I think he'll do it the easy way.
It made me feel a bit like introducing firearms to an inca tribe and when coming back realizing that they were just using the guns as clubs... Next time, I'll spend 10 min training them so they don't have to waste more time than needed!