The microISV Pain Point survey was opened three times over a two year period from 2010 to 2012. Many microISVs focus on alleviating the “pain points” of their customers and we wanted to apply that idea to the microISVs themselves. What pain points do microISVs struggle with? Can we find a way to address those pain points through our research?
Several amazing things came out of the survey. First, IEEE’s IT Professional published an article by Russell Thackston and David Umphress, which explores the survey’s initial finding and, more importantly, exposes the microISV industry to a broader audience of industry professionals. As of the writing of this posting, the article is in preprint status but is targeted for publication in the March/April 2013 edition.
Another amazing outcome of the survey was the kickstart for Russell Thackston’s dissertation topic: SISE. One of the topic pain points for microISV owners is time management, something we can all identify with, I’m sure. Russell wanted to create something that would be useful and novel in addressing this pain point. Given that time management rests on good planning, and good planning rests on good estimates, Russell investigated the options available to microISV owners and found that no agile effort estimation (“sizing”) models existed for the individual. From this, SISE was born: a light weight, agile effort estimation model focused on the individual software engineer, rather than a team. You can read more about the evolution of SISE here and here.
When possible, we like to make everything we do open and available to others. In that spirit, we’ve made the raw results of the survey available here on the website. You can find the results from 2010, 2011, and (coming soon) 2012.
Possibly the most important outcome of the survey was watching Russell struggle with marketing it, which resulted in a couple of videos from 2010 and 2012, and one (in our opinion) hilarious blooper reel. Suffice it to say that Russell’s skills lie elsewhere.