We’ve heard this from many of our clients over the years: they always have some concern when setting up a research project. It boils down to this: if things don’t go well, they could look bad. Of course, one of the main ways people mitigate that risk is by working with researchers they’ve used before. But sometimes that’s not possible – things change, people aren’t available, etc. What do you do then? Here are some of the ways we make sure a research project goes well. I suggest you use them even in cases when you aren’t working with us.
Clarify objectives: the importance of this can’t be overstated. Make sure everyone understands why you’re conducting research, what you hope to learn, and how you’ll use what you learn. To help make sure we understand, we like to ask this question: in six months from now, looking back on this project, what will have had to happen for you to feel that it was a complete success?
Reporting needs: how will you use the report? Does it need to be a PowerPoint presentation or a Word report? Will your colleagues be reading the report, do you need it presented in person, or both? If you’ve never worked with the researcher, ask for a sample of his or her writing.
Problem situations: if you’re dealing with a new researcher, ask for examples of difficulties they’ve encountered in previous research projects and how they handled them.
Of course, it’s not possible to eliminate all risk. But following the simple steps above will sharply improve the odds of having a successful research project. Call us at Bureau West (tel: 818-752-7210) for your next project, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure things run smoothly and you achieve your research objectives.