Time schedule

The time schedule for research must be clearly established from the outset. Timing should be a part of the proposal and discussed at meetings concerning the proposal. If management wants to move more quickly, it must adopt a different research method.

The research schedule must be agreeable to all parties and, once established, the schedule must be followed as closely as possible. Some departments in the firm will be waiting for and depending on the findings of the research and a delayed study can be costly. Delays can prevent these departments from going ahead on other projects that may be even more important to the firm. Everyone has to realise that some schedules may have to be changed. New and unexpected findings may have to be pursued, perhaps producing a change in research technique. A proposal should allow for such possibilities, even though the importance of staying with the original schedule is recognised.

ITEMS FOR INCLUSION IN A RESEARCH PROJECT MARKET PLAN

Research reasons and objectives

• Establish motivation for research project.

• Establish purpose of research project.

• Determine budget for research project.

• Define research problem.

• Find and review previous research on research topic.

• Determine current opinion.

• Determine previous recommendations.

• Determine research questions.

Method/analysis for research

• Select data collection method.

• Select analysis method.

• Select supplier/field service.

• Choose facility location(s).

• Prepare focus group materials.

• Supervise recruiting.

• Supervise/conduct sessions.

• Review sessions.

Data analysis and interpretation

• Choose appropriate analysis.

• Interpret results.

• Choose report format.

• Highlight findings.

Report: write up research method and management

• Present overview.

• Review literature.

• Describe population; sampling frame; sampling method/size.

• Detail collection method.

• Report completion rate.

• Explain data processing.

Report: write up analysis and interpretation

• Present data manipulations.

• Present interpretations.

• Summary/conclusion.

• Review significant findings.

• State major discovery.

• Report study limitations.

• Prepare illustrative graphs.

• List references.

Research project: presentation to management

• Highlight findings.

• Prepare slides/overheads.

• Rehearse presentation.

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