What is the Problem?
Most people think spreadsheets are easy: just enter a formula in a cell and keep adding more formulas until you get a result. However, research shows that about 90% of spreadsheets contain at least one error and that spreadsheet developers are overconfident in their assessment of the correctness of their own work. Errors in spreadsheets have led to many consequences such as financial losses, false declarations, public embarrassment, naming the wrong candidate as winner and extra audit costs.
Why Do Errors in Spreadsheets Occur?
Errors occur because developing a spreadsheet model is a highly creative activity that requires concentration. Doing this activity simultaneously with its implementation repeatedly interrupts the creative train of thought with spreadsheet manipulations such as writing formulas or formatting cells. The disruptions of this sort slow down and obstruct the most critical process, which leads to errors. There are two major types of errors: mechanical errors and logical errors. The mechanical errors are related to Excel manipulations, such as typing, pointing or copying a formula. Logical errors are much harder to detect: they are related to the variables and the formulas the developer has created or, worse, forgot to create.
What is Our Solution?
Simply, we need to separate the creative process and the mechanical tasks. This is exactly what the our methodology is about. SSMI is a methodology that can be used by both individuals and organizations to create error-free spreadsheets. We believe that using a sound methodology can reduce the probability of making errors. This methodology also makes it easier to explain to your colleagues, bosses and clients how your spreadsheet works. Moreover, it is also easier to audit and test for errors, faster to modify in the future and easier to manage in an organizational setting.
Who is Paul Mireault?
In order to help individuals and enterprises avoid those mistakes, Paul Mireault created the Structured Spreadsheet Modelling and Implementation methodology (SSMI) when he was an IT Professor at HEC Montreal, one of a few world-class Business Schools holding the AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB International accreditations. SSMI was developed using proven Information Systems, Computer Science and Software Engineering concepts and has been taught in undergraduate and graduate programs as well as executive training courses. Paul holds a BBA in Quantitative Methods (HEC Montréal), an MSc in Computer Science (Université de Montréal) and a PhD in Management Science (MIT). He was a professor at HEC Montréal for over 35 years and taught courses in Probability, Statistics, Simulation, Information Systems, Systems Analysis and Design, Data Base Design, Algorithmic, Business Intelligence Technologies and Business Software. He has international experience in teaching and doing presentations in Algeria, Cameroon, France, India, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, the UK and the United States.