Embarking on a custom Excel project is a massive opportunity for an organization and business to largely increase efficiency in their daily workflow as well as provide consistent and error-proof reporting and data. Not only does data and process improve, businesses can transfer resources to other tasks as the previous become automated. Bottom line growth of companies starts with automation, and this is something that can change an entire company. To achieve these desired automation results, there is a process to follow and its imperative to hire the right Excel development company to implement these MS Office solutions properly.
- Requirements gathering and Initial Planning
- Communication and Expectation
- Excel VBA Programming & Implementation
- Support & Availability.
The initial development phase which includes requirements gathering is essential to building the foundation of your application or Excel tool. Not only do the current requirements need to be understood, but future use cases need to be taken into the account so scalability can be introduced such as an Azure SQL cloud back-end or Access database for multi-user usage.
This can be the most important part of the client experience and can make or break the relationship with the counterparties. Weekly meetings and screen shares on a recurring basis are a couple of the obvious things to be structured within the consulting agreement. Other things like transparency concerning hours, phased delivery and release dates are important as well.
VBA is an impressive backbone of Microsoft Office applications and is extremely powerful when built and used in a manner that is within best usage practices. From complex formulaic functions to error trapping and tracking within a multi-user environment, these pieces can make or break a release. The usable of classes and global variables, as well as 32 or 64-bit coding, is something that junior Excel programmers would not understand. It’s important to find senior level programmers to take these projects to the finish line.
Once the roll-out of the project occurs, it can be a massive uptake on an organization and its imperative to have the proper support channels in place in case there are bugs that pop up from time to time. This not uncommon and can be expected. As long as there is a proper contractual agreement to meet these needs as well as staff to enable the post engagement to go well, companies will see the positive results they are looking for.
Now that you understand what it takes to create a successful Excel tool within a company, it’s important to follow the above as a general outline and make the right decision on hiring the correct firm (not freelancer) to deliver the results that will “move the needle.” Time after time, we see many current clients coming to us with terrible experiences of past developers and unprofessional scenarios that have played out in no ones favor. That’s why it behooves companies to spend time and select Excel VBA experts that have the track record, references and more importantly, the skill to deliver exactly what these engagements require to make them massively successful.