Hunt the numbers

I have been playing a good game today – Hunt the Number.

It involves taking a complicated spreadsheet with many tabs in it and reverse engineering someone else’s formulae to work out how they got their fantasy figures for a funding application. Bear in mind the rules say you can only do this when everybody involved in creating the spreadsheet is on holiday and there is a very tight deadline which is non-negotiable.

To make it more exciting I was playing the Mornington Crescent version where some numbers have been added in from completely unrelated spreadsheets without any comments to explain what they are or where they came from. The only acceptable way to resolve this is to spend 2 hours on the phone with a colleague who is equally new to the figures and work it out jointly. This is known as the "Teamwork Resolution" and scores high  points with the Dungeon Master (or "boss" as we call her) although risks bringing the rest of the team to a standstill in the middle of User Acceptance Testing for a rather challenging software release (also with a non-negotiable deadline).

Best of all I get to do it all over again tomorrow when I move on to the next set of numbers for a second application. Which has a tighter deadline and is more complex. It turns out that today was just the pre-match friendly.

In case anyone mistakes this for a rant, actually I enjoyed it! I do like a challenge, and I am pretty sure I can get those numbers whupped. At least I think I can – while it is all in my head. Whether it will still be there in the morning I can’t say. The main worry is that I’ll make the changes, get it all sent off and then the Finance person will come back and have a heart attack because actually she had taken all of it into account and there was a complicated reason it had to be done her way.

Or not.

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