Swimming Against the Current: 5 Tips to Keep Your Research Project On Track
We can all relate to the overwhelming, cat-herding spinout that occurs when a project gets off track. Deep breath. We’ve got you covered. Here’s what we find to be the top five things that keep market research projects organized and on target.
Before you’re even in the weeds with any given project, set yourself up for success:
Make sure specs are clearly defined at the time of bidding including LOI, IR and sample size. If specs change after a bid is received, make sure the changes are communicated and a new estimate is provided.
Make sure all timelines are clearly communicated for each step of the process at the time of bidding or when the project is commissioned to avoid any surprises.
Once a project has begun, keep attention in the following areas:
If changes to a questionnaire are requested once the questionnaire has already been programmed or is in the process of being programmed, make sure all changes, including programming instructions, are clearly marked on the questionnaire document. This helps to ensure that errors are kept to a minimum. This is especially important with wave studies or trackers that were programmed some time ago.
Make sure to thoroughly test the survey instrument prior to launch, including review of dummy or test data. Review of soft launch data is also recommended. Identifying any anomalies in the data and ascertaining the data are recording properly prior to full launch rather than after a study has been completed will save both time and money.
Closely monitor data collection progress to make sure the project is on spec. Keep incidence, demographic or other quotas in mind. Make sure to discuss anything unexpected with the field service to determine if the difference will impact completing the project on time or on budget.
All of this being said, a project has an uncanny ability to get out of hand. On the off chance that these five ironclad solutions get away from you, call us. We’ll get you back on track!