Using Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet tools is essential to tracking, storing, reading, and learning from data. It is used by businesses every day to spot trends, issues, growth patterns, and risks. As you saw in the Strayer Story last week and the Strayer Talk this week, Deidre Jefferies uses Excel to create spreadsheets she sends to potential and current clients, to track inventory and pricing, and to set goals and see potential areas for improvement within the business.In this Challenge, you will use Microsoft Excel to outline the steps you would take to implement your plan to solve your problem, and to outline the costs that will be involved in your plan. Additionally, you’ll use basic functions to analyze your plan. You will format your worksheets to make them easy to work with as well.
Follow the steps below to create your Implementation Plan and Costs Chart for your plan to solve your identified problem. [If you don’t remember how to operate these functions in Microsoft Excel, refer back to TestOut, the course material, your instructor, or Google it!] Completed sample versions of the Implementation Plan (Sheet 1) and Costs Chart (Sheet 2) are included here below the rubric for your reference.
Create and title your workbook. Save at firstname_lastname_Challeng3_CIS105.xlsx
Create a new workbook using Microsoft Excel.
Create two (2) sheets inside the workbook and title them “Implementation Plan” and “Costs Chart”. You can name the sheets by right clicking the tab at the bottom of the sheet and choosing “Rename.”
It’s also a good idea to put this title at the top of your spreadsheets in Cell A1, then use “merge and center” on the home ribbon when you are finishing your formatting. This will center your title at the top of your work and make the printed version (if you choose to print out your workbook) look more professional.
Create your Implementation Plan and Timeline on Sheet #1.
Regardless of what problem you are trying to solve, a plan is only as good as the effort taken to think through its steps.
Create labels as shown on the sample in the first three columns of this worksheet; one titled “STEPS,” one titled “TARGET COMPLETION DATES,” and the last titled “TIME ESTIMATES.”
i) List each major step you would need to complete under the “STEPS” column. Bold the font of each step. Customize these to fit your actual ideas (don’t just label them “Step 1”, “Step 2”, etc. like in the sample) and be descriptive of what each step is. For example, “Painting”, “Baking”, “Writing”, etc. Add additional rows as needed.
ii) List at least two (2) actions you need to take for each major step. Again, be descriptive (don’t just label them “Action 1”, “Action 2”, etc. like in the sample)
TARGET COMPLETION DATES
i) List the target deadline for each major step and action under the “TARGET COMPLETION DATES” column. Note that completion dates for the major step should be equal to the last date of the action within that step that will take the longest. Use DD/MM/YYYY format for your target deadlines (ex: 01/31/2017)
i) List a time estimate (in hours) for each major step under the “TIME ESTIMATES” column.
ii) Calculate the total time estimate for your entire implementation plan at the bottom of this column as shown in the example.
Add formatting such as color, borders, centering, bolding, etc. to make your sheet more visually appealing and easier to read.
Create a Costs chart on Sheet #2.
Even if the problem you chose was personal, there are likely going to be some costs associated with solving it.
First, create headers for two columns; one titled “ITEM” and one titled “COSTS.”
List each of the major items or factors you would need for your solution (i.e. your own and others’ time, equipment, transportation, products, etc.) under the “ITEM” column. You’ll need approximately 5-15 items total. If you have fewer than 5 items, break these down into smaller sub-items. If you have more than 15 items, consolidate similar items. Be descriptive here and adjust the width of your columns as needed.
Include a realistic cost estimate for each of the items involved in your plan under the “COSTS” column.
Add a third column labeled “Comment” and comment on each of the costs, explaining how you came up with that cost. These notes to yourself are very helpful when you look back on an older spreadsheet, and also help explain to others why things are on the sheet.
Add up the total costs using the Sum function. Remember to start all function cells with an equal sign (=).
Next, add an “Average” label and calculate the average cost of the item costs you’ve identified for your plan. This way, you can easily see if each cost is larger or smaller than the average.
Add a “Lowest” label next, and calculate the smallest of your costs. This might come in handy to show you which item you can easily knock out first. Use the MIN function here.
Add a “Highest” label after this, to show which item is the largest cost. You’d be surprised how useful this label can be when you have a lot of data to sift through. Use the MAX function here.
Test your data by putting in some random numbers. Make sure your MIN and MAX functions are working correctly by changing one of the values to a small number and one to a large number. Add up all of the figures on a calculator or use all “1’s” and count them to make sure the sum and average functions are working correctly. After you test your formulas, enter the real data.
Create a pie chart graphic that shows a breakdown of the percentages of each cost area by using the layout functions. The pie chart is used to represent percentages of the whole. It allows you to see at a glance how much of your total cost is represented by each individual cost. Insert the pie chart as an object in the sheet. Click on one of the pie labels once and select the Enlarge button shown here to make the pie chart large enough to read (size 12-14 font recommended). Right-click on the label and select “Format Data Labels”. When you see the panel options, set them as “percentage”. Uncheck the “Value” option, and ensure that the “Percentage” option is checked. If you have a lot of labels, be sure to check the “Show Leader Lines” option, see Format Data Labels options.
Merge and Center the title at the top of your spreadsheet just as you did in Sheet #1.
Format and save your workbook.
Change the font for all dollar amounts to a new font that you feel is clean and easy to read in spreadsheet format.
Add professional-looking color to some of the font in the sheet (For example, the titles or headers). Remember, the goal is to make your workbook easier to read. So you wouldn’t want to use light yellow fonts, for example, because they would be hard to see against a white background.
Be sure to spell check your workbook to check for any typos or errors.
Re-save your file. Again, the correct file naming convention is: firstname_lastname_Challenge3_CIS105.xlsx
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this challenge are:
Use basic application software.
Create a digital solution for an identified business problem.
Use technology in a professional and ethical manner within real world contexts.
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.
Points: 160 Challenge 3: Create a Plan – Part 2
Criteria Unacceptable Below 60% F Meets Minimum Expectations 60-69% D Fair 70-79% C Proficient 80-89% B Exemplary 90-100% A
1. Create and title the workbook. Weight: 10% Workbook is not submitted or submitted with no title. Workbook is insufficiently set up and titled. Workbook is partially set up and has a title. Workbook is sufficiently set up and has clear, relevant title. Workbook is thoroughly set up with sheets named correctly, and has a clear, relevant and well-written title.
2. Create an implementation plan and timeline on Sheet #1. Weight: 40% Implementation plan and timeline are not included in submission. Implementation plan or timeline is included, but is unclear, incomplete, and unformatted. Implementation plan and time line are included, are partially clear, partially complete, and/or partially formatted. Implementation plan and timeline are clear, complete, and formatted, including both major steps and actions; time estimates and date ranges are included. Implementation plan and timeline are thorough, complete, clear, and correctly formatted; includes well-written major steps with at least two (2) actions for each major step; includes reasonably accurate date ranges, reasonably accurate time estimates and an accurate total time for implementation.
3. Create a Costs Chart on Sheet #2. Weight: 40% Costs chart is not included in submission. Costs chart is included, but is unclear and incomplete. No graphic is included. Costs chart is included, is partially clear and partially complete. Pie chart graphic is included but not formatted correctly. Costs chart is clear and complete; includes major cost areas of plan, costs for each area, and total cost for plan. Functions have been used to create costs chart. Costs chart is thorough, complete and clear; Layout and design of costs chart is visually appealing; includes five to fifteen (5-15) major cost areas of plan, reasonably accurate costs for each area, and reasonably accurate total cost for plan. Functions and labels have been used as directed. Data labels in pie chart graphic have been formatted correctly.
4. Format and save the workbook. Weight: 10% Workbook is not submitted or is not formatted, saved or named correctly. Workbook is submitted but insufficiently formatted and naming convention is incorrect. Workbook is partially formatted and naming convention is partially correct. Workbook is formatted with different fonts and colors as directed. Few typos or errors are evident. Workbook is saved with correct naming convention. Formatting is extremely clean and clear, including updated visually appealing font for dollar amounts and addition of a visually appealing color. Workbook is saved with correct naming convention.