How to Create Scenarios in Excel

Scenarios are part of Excel’s “What-If” Analysis tool set – aka Data Analysis. Use Scenarios when you need to know what the result will be when you change one or more variables in one or more  situations (scenarios).

Frequently, I create Scenarios to define  a “Good, Better, Best” or “Worst Case, Best Case, Case Most Likely” outcome.

In this short Excel Training Video, I demonstrate how to create, edit,  and report four Scenarios for a Monthly Office Expense Budget.

These are the steps used in this Excel Video Lesson:

  • Create (or open) an Excel worksheet that contains a formula. Identify the formula and the precedent  cells that feed into the formula.
  • Select the “target cell” – the cell that contains the formula whose result will change with each Scenario.
  • Choose TOOLS – SCENARIOS and follow the directions in the Create Scenario dialog box.
  • First, click ADD. Name the Scenario. Click OK. Confirm that you have selected the “Target Cell” and then click / type in the “Changing cells.” The Changing cells should be either direct or indirect precedents to the Target cell formula. Click Add. Add additional Scenarios as desired.
  • Click on the name of your Scenario and select SHOW to display the changing cell values and the new result in your target cell.
  • If you wish, choose SUMMARY to create a summary report in a separate worksheet.
  • I strongly recommend that you create named cells and use them in the formulas and changing cells of your Scenario.

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