Is the juice worth the squeeze?

On-site for an Excel session / Q&A with a client today in Brooklyn, and I wanted to share an analogy that seemed to resonate with the team.

BEFORE you automate or improve a complex spreadsheet process, answer this question: Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Shout out to my friend John DeMato for teaching me this phrase.

Said another way, are the upfront costs WORTH the benefits moving forward?

First, answer these 2 sub-questions:

a) What are the COSTS of the current process? (e.g. time, effort, money, credibility, etc.)

b) What are the BENEFITS of automating / improving the process?

To help make this more tangible and relatable, let’s use the lime vs. pomegranate analogy.

If you want a splash of lime on your salad once in a blue moon, then by all means, cut it in half with a knife and squeeze that juice with your hands. No need to improve the process.

In contrast, if you are a family of 6 and everyone drinks pomegranate juice weekly, it’s probably worth investing in some kind of a juicer to help automate at least some of that process.

Taken to the extreme, if you run a juice shop, serving hundreds of customers daily, with every fruit under the sun, there’s no chance of squeezing by hand anymore, am I right?

Back to Excel.

If the benefit is greater than the cost, then go ahead and improve the process. If not, then do NOT improve the process.

Here’s that idea again, written as an Excel formula:

=IF(Benefit > Cost,”Improve”,”Do NOT Improve”)

But wait, there’s more!

Here are 4 levers to consider before you answer:

  1. Audience – who is it for?
  2. Type – what is it exactly?
  3. Quantity – amount needed?
  4. Frequency – how often needed?

If the juice is in fact worth the squeeze for YOU on a particular project, send me a message with the word “juice” and we’ll see how I can help you extract all that delicious nectar, without all the heavy lifting.

#foodforthought #automation #analogies #yeahabsolutely #excelcuriosities #excelwell #sharetheexcellove

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