Giles-Flythe had an existing process for creating property management reserve studies, but it was a tedious manual process to produce client-understandable charts and reports. They desired a way to automate the process while still allowing engineers to edit the final output.
- Leverage the existing office experience in using Microsoft Excel
- Create a custom Excel Add-in to perform complex calculations and formatting
- Allow engineers to try “what-if” scenarios in a simple iterative manner
- Custom Excel template used for questionnaire and basis report
- Add-in, template, and support documents housed on corporate web server
100+ Client reports produced in the first 6 months of operation
Several cycles of improvements made based upon direct user feedback
Single page manual and no training required of new engineers
Designing for skilled users
Giles-Flythe is an engineering firm and, as such, was already very skilled in the use of Microsoft Excel. Through our initial consultations and discovery, we jointly decided to leverage that skill set, and build an Excel add-in, rather than develop a full application from scratch. The Excel add-in increases the engineers’ capabilities dramatically, without requiring extensive training or support.
Iterative improvement process
Since its initial release, Giles-Flythe and Digital Mettle have gone through several cycles of incremental improvements on the tool. Giles-Flythe maintains a running list of requested features and enhancement requests. Several times each year, we revisit the list together to prioritize and scope the improvements that have the ‘biggest bang for the buck.’