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As the creator of a very popular Raci Template Excel spreadsheet, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on creating templates. This has been a growing issue with my clients and I have found that most do not understand the true value of these and other templates, especially Excel templates.
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After getting in touch with a friend of mine about this matter, he explained to me that it’s not just about the data that you put into the template, but it’s the experience that you gain by using the template as well. Many people find their template allowing them to be more productive. In particular, I can attest to that because I have hired people to write templates for me and they have become my favorite work at home work from home application.
Here is an example; when I first hired someone to create a template for me, I asked him to let me add an extra column in it. While I originally wanted it for something else, the reason I did that was that I wanted to type an additional number that I thought would fit better into the cell that I wanted to. As I typed it, I realized that it was too long, so I got tired of reading my workbook, I decided to make the necessary changes and write the needed column in the template and I later learned that the person I hired did the same thing.
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Now the truth is, I never did change anything in the template to add the extra column. When I had to get my manual done to prove that it works, I wrote down the numbers on a piece of paper and carefully moved it into the correct spot. Of course, that was only a small part of the process, but you can see that it was the part where I was accomplishing something for myself by working with the template.
Also, when I read a case study where the person took the template and copied it over to his workbook, the copied file was still the same as the original, just that the template provided him with the opportunity to move the formula into a new cell or write it in another location. Also, the person who created the template gained new insight and more opportunities to think about a solution.
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Many people say that templates allow them to stop wasting time looking for solutions because they don’t work. And that’s another important point. When you are doing something for the first time, you can spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve a problem that someone else has already overcome.
However, if you are using a template, you don’t have to constantly think about whether or not the solution you are getting will work or not. You already know what you are getting yourself into. It’s simply a matter of knowing how to utilize the tool and taking advantage of the ability.
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In my opinion, templates, whether they are Raci Template Excel, plain text documents, audio files, CD-ROMs, etc., should always be used and should be thought of as your guide to how to do work at home. The key is to use them frequently, whenever possible, to see a significant increase in productivity.