Janne's theory of MS Office progression

You see, I have this theory. It's my theory, and it is as follows.


Your progression in a large IT corporation can be largely measured by the Microsoft Office programs you use. When you start at a new workplace, your most important tool is likely to be Outlook. You do whatever you were hired to do, and you send a lot of email.

Once you get a bit more responsibility, you get to use Word - that is, you will write pre-studies, documentation, analysises (analysii?) and all that sort of stuff. You use templates and embed pictures and write lots of stuff nobody is probably ever going to read (unless you are a technical writer, in which case everyone is a critic.)

Then you get tagged by someone, and suddenly you find yourself working on a Powerpoint slideset "for tomorrow". Pretty soon, this becomes your most important tool, as you will need to start presenting your work to other people in bullet-point -sized bites. Powerpoint will teach you to abstract and "top-levelize" things until they become meaningless. If you are unlucky, it also becomes your main documentation tool. But sooner or later you realize that you are in a group that only understands Powerpoint as a communication method.

The pinnacle of the corporate evolution is Excel. Once Excel becomes your main tool, you are responsible for money, personnel, and allocation thereof. Therefore you have power. Or at least the appearance of power - you may still have to make a Powerpoint to make the persons with Real Ultimate Power to agree with your Excel.

Finally, the circle is closed when all the Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint decks are delegated to someone else, and you find yourself alone in your office, accompanied only by Outlook again. And then, my son, you have mastered the True Way of the Office, and you can use the same Outlook you started with, for all your business needs.


Analysis singular, analyses plural.

--Hugo, 22-Sep-2007

Cool theory. My empiric studies seem to back this one up.

--AnonymousCoward, 22-Sep-2007

Where does using Excel to do presentations fit in that scheme?

Yes, I've seen horrendous misuses of programs...

--Pare, 22-Sep-2007

OneNote and Outlook. That's the pinnacle of the Office Zen.

--samikki, 22-Sep-2007

When you get dumped with all of these (Outlook mail with Word, Powerpoint and Excel attachments all horribly misused) you must a subcontractor.

--I know where you work, 23-Sep-2007

Pare, I don't know, but I've heard Excel being used as the word processing tool of the company.

--JanneJalkanen, 25-Sep-2007

So, where do I fit, seeing as my main program is Access?

Yeah, I know. It blows. It also PAYS, and right now, that's what I need.

--McNutcase, 25-Sep-2007

I left out Access because it's not really something a lot of people have to deal with... And you don't have to justify yourself to me - we all do nasty things to survive ;-)

--JanneJalkanen, 30-Sep-2007

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"Main_blogentry_220907_2" last changed on 22-Sep-2007 12:46:58 EEST by JanneJalkanen.