Spreadsheet bibliography

Title A paradigm for spreadsheet engineering methodologies
Authors Thomas A. Grossman & Ozgur Ozluk
Year 2004
Type Proceedings
Publication EuSpRIG

Spreadsheet engineering methodologies are diverse and sometimes contradictory.

It is difficult for spreadsheet developers to identify a spreadsheet engineering methodology that is appropriate for their class of spreadsheet, with its unique combination of goals, type of problem, and available time and resources.

There is a lack of well-organized, proven methodologies with known costs and benefits for well-defined spreadsheet classes. It is difficult to compare and critically evaluate methodologies.

We present a paradigm for organizing and interpreting spreadsheet engineering recommendations. It systematically addresses the myriad choices made when developing a spreadsheet, and explicitly considers resource constraints and other development parameters.

This paradigm provides a framework for evaluation, comparison, and selection of methodologies, and a list of essential elements for developers or codifiers of new methodologies. This paradigm identifies gaps in our knowledge that merit further research.

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Elements of our paradigm

Our paradigm consists of the following essential elements:

  • Modeling: The act of determining what the spreadsheet shall do.
  • Development parameters: The planning assumptions of a spreadsheet.
  • Design: Comprises two elements - structural design and visual design.
  • Programming: The creation of cell formulas and other logic in a spreadsheet.
  • Quality control: All actions taken to determine whether the outputs of a spreadsheet are satisfactory.
  • Debugging: Modifying a spreadsheet program to fix an output that has an unsatisfactory value.
  • Documentation: Any written record regarding the spreadsheet.
  • Usage: Any process where a user provides inputs to a spreadsheet, and observes the outputs.
  • Modification: Changes made to the spreadsheet after it has been used.