Advantages of using Microsoft Excel
1. No additional software to buy
Most people already have Excel software on their computers. Even Mac users typically have Excel. It can be used right now by simply opening the drawing tool and downloading our Cause Mapping template.
2. You can email and share files easily
Because Microsoft Excel is so widely used, Cause Map files in Excel can easily be emailed to anyone else in the organization.
3. Excel is simple to use – once you know where the tools are
The drawing tools within Excel are intuitive. Capturing a cause-and-effect relationship within Excel requires only a box and a connector. Boxes for causes, evidence, and solutions are already built within the Cause Mapping template. Users only have to copy an existing box to add detail.
4. You can document the details of a problem quickly
A cause-and-effect analysis can be built very quickly using the Cause Mapping template. When a facilitator learns both the shortcuts within Excel and the Cause Mapping facilitation method, documenting the details of a problem can be done very quickly. A person’s ability to facilitate an effective investigation is a valuable career skill.
5. Worksheets organize the entire investigation – All information is collected in one Excel file
The multiple worksheets with an Excel workbook allow each element of a comprehensive investigation to be captured on its own worksheet. A table of contents in the beginning of the Cause Mapping template organizes the entire investigation.
6. Excel is extremely flexible (unlimited capability)
The drawing tools in Excel and the structure of the workbook allow people an incredible amount of flexibility. There are literally an unlimited number of ways to explain the details of an incident using the Excel tools.
7. Excel manages photos easily
Photos can be added directly into Excel, which also has the ability to crop and size the pictures. Large photos can be compressed within Excel, and labels can be placed directly on the photos. People typically store photos in a separate folder; Excel allows all photos to be organized within the same Excel file.
8. Process Maps can be documented in the same file
Action items from an investigation are implemented within the work processes upstream of the problem. A detailed Process Map can be captured within the same Cause Mapping workbook. Excel makes it easy to collect information in one place.
9. Excel offers robust calculation capability
All of Excel’s spreadsheet functions are still available in the Cause Mapping workbook. Data files, pivot tables, and charts can be built within the Cause Mapping template to provide a more complete investigation.
10. Excel is compatible with other platforms
An Excel file can be attached to a record within SAP, an Oracle database, or other enterprise-wide software systems. The Cause Mapping template also works well with all web conferencing tools such as GoToMeeting, WebEx, Sametime, NetMeeting, etc.