Informal auditing

See also: Model Validation introduction

Studies have shown that the original builder of a spreadsheet model has a lower rate of error detection than an equivalently skilled co-worker. It's not so surprising, of course, since we are more inclined than a reviewer to repeat the same logical, omission and administrative errors.

At Vose Software, we do a lot of internal auditing. A large part of the process is sitting down and explaining to another analyst the decision question(s) and the model structure with pen and paper and then how we've executed it in a spreadsheet. Just the process of providing an explanation will often lead to finding errors in your logic, or to finding simpler ways to write the model.

Have another analyst go through your code with the objective of finding your errors, so that a successful exercise is one that found errors rather than one that pronounces your model to be error free. It helps create a blame-free, non-judgmental environment that very much favours openness.

Read on: Checking units propagate correctly

 

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