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July 7, 2004

Why do I Resist the Spreadsheet?

Just spent 30 minutes putting together a spreadsheet with details on 6 new machines coming in. The spreadsheet details their name, make, DNS, network interfaces and requested cabling speed, physical install location etc.

The spreadsheet is simple and clear, as opposed to the many hours I've spent on email and the phone over the past month explaining to various data center operators, installation folks, managers information about the new machines. I was trying to outline everything in a narrative, where a spreadsheet was clearly the better option (but didn't get created until someone demanded it). This isn't the first time . . . I tried to write a narrative to describe the list of servers, specifications and service levels when we renegotiated our service contract, and didn't go to the spreadsheet until someone demanded it.

Why do I resist the spreadsheet? Is it because I think the narrative is more creative, or allows me to craft the message just right? How do I get into the habit of using a spreadsheet when a narrative isn't best? I don't know the answers, but am hoping that I can start to curb my tendencies and use the most appropriate vehicle.

Posted by mike at July 7, 2004 9:22 PM