We propose a research strategy for creating and deploying prescriptive recommendations for spreadsheet practice. Empirical data on usage can be used to create a taxonomy of spreadsheet classes. Within each class, existing practices and ideal practices can he combined into proposed best practices for deployment. As a first step we propose a scoping survey to gather non-anecdotal data on spreadsheet usage. The scoping survey will interview people who develop spreadsheets. We will investigate the determinants of spreadsheet importance, identify current industry practices, and document existing standards for creation and use of spreadsheets. The survey will provide insight into user attributes, spreadsheet importance, and current practices. Results will be valuable in themselves, and will guide future empirical research.
Grossman, T. & Ozluk, O. "Research Strategy and Scoping Survey on Spreadsheet Practices". Proceedings of EuSpRIG 2003 Conference, July 2003