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Tips on Creating a Plan for Survey Project

Published on 29 January 15
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The need of a survey originates when a business organization comes across a problem and the existing data is not able to pin point the concerned area. When confronted with such a situation, organizations should consider whether a survey can collect the required data, helping get to the source of the problem. If, prior to a business decision, you need the inputs of people and want these results quickly then survey is the best technique. But survey is not a miracle pill, it is just the way you use it. Many business organizations enter into a survey expecting to find something interesting, and end up with nothing. This is why before plunging into a survey project there is need for careful analysis and planning. Well planned surveys are easy to implement and analyze. They are also finished quickly, helping you address the issue on time. If valuable data is collected quickly and then policies are implemented on time it can lead to customer satisfaction.

Questions to Ask Before a Survey Project

Surveys should be well thought out and planned. Goals should be delineated. This is why successful organizations always ask themselves the following questions before moving into a survey project:

  • What are you looking to learn?
  • How much time will it take?
  • What will be the costs?
All these questions can be answered only if you have a plan ready at hand before implementing the survey. So, the secret to a successful survey campaign often lies in the quality of planning.
Factors that should be accounted for in a Survey Plan

There are various types of surveys and their scopes are dependent on the end goals. So, there are bound to be many inter-related issues. But all survey plans should take into account six key areas:

  • Value of Survey
  • Cost of Survey
  • Project Definition
  • Setting the Audience
  • Selecting the Project Team
  • Deciding Timeline of Project

How to Plan for Survey Value?

Understanding the survey value is the first step in survey project planning. Organizations must understand the importance and scope of the survey. They should know the benefits of such data accumulation campaign to their core work. When calculating for the value of your project always take into account the below given three factors:

  • Define the decisions that you need to make
  • Costs that would be incurred if those decisions went wrong
  • Level of uncertainty the survey project can reduce
When you are launching a product based on the popular trend you can get it verified by the populace. They are the end users; they will be able to tell you what is needed. If you take a decision on your own, without understanding the mind of end users than the product may fail. This is where defining the needs of the survey is very important. Once that is defined you will find the survey project can save you lots of dollars, by providing insights about customers. If there are additional issues, you can plan for follow up surveys too.
How to Decide the Cost of Survey?

The next big step in survey project planning is calculating your costs. Many businesses find they have exceeded the budget only after the survey is underway. So, a planned approach will keep you in good stead. If you want a quality survey it will never come cheap, though there are methods that are economical over others. Apart from the cost of resource time there are three different types of costs that you will incur, such as:

  • Cost of creating the survey infrastructure
  • Money needed for inviting the respondents and encouraging them for the survey participation
  • Costs that would go into data entry and later analysis
It has been generally seen that web based surveys are much economical than the telephonic or mail based surveys. In the later options companies have to spend for postage, designing, printing, telephone bills, call personnel and data entry.
How to Define the Project?

This is the stage when the elements of a survey have to be finalized. You have to decide on the measurable objectives and set standards for the survey. This stage will help you use information for future surveys. An example of objective statement for a Survey could be:

Measuring the visitors to a website within the next week and to see how the online advertising campaign is bringing target audiences.

When you are calculating the time always include the time that will be taken in inviting respondents, gathering data, entering the data and finally analyzing the results. Each of these steps is affected by the way you conduct your survey. The time taken for email surveys will be much higher than telephonic surveys purely because of the waiting times. The next decision is regarding inviting the respondents. There are plenty of mediums to invite such as emails, online advertising or website links. Select the option that you are comfortable with.
How to Select the Survey Audience?
It is important to decide: who is going to respond to your survey? Surveys aim at different types of audiences such as prospects, customers, employees or other members. The selection of survey audience is mainly dependent on the objective your survey is looking to meet. After you have selected the audience, think about the number of respondents you would need to validate the accuracy of information. Generally, the rule is: greater the number of respondents more accurate the results are. If you want a rough estimation than the number of respondents could be reduced. It should be also kept in mind that a percentage of the respondents you invite might not respond. The rate with email surveys is traditionally low and hovers around 2-3%. Telephonic surveys allow retries and have larger success percentage.
How to Select the Project Team?

If you want to conduct the survey internally then there is need to identify the resources. The team you select will largely depend on the kind of survey you are planning. A few key internal resources are needed for any type of survey, such as:

  • Human Resources
  • Market Research
  • IT Support
You can omit this stage if the survey is being outsourced to an outbound solutions provider.
How to Set the Project Timeline?

To set a project timeline you have to get back to the drawing board. List all the tasks that are involved and their specific order of completion. Set a logical timeline for each of the survey tasks and then assign them to personnel. After assigning the tasks keep a note of their start dates. Maintain control over your survey as it moves along. Ask for detailed time sheets from all the involved resources.

This was a list of activities that go into a successful survey project planning. Though the process seems long, yet it is essential if you want to reach the objectives with your survey.
The need of a survey originates when a business organization comes across a problem and the existing data is not able to pin point the concerned area. When confronted with such a situation, organizations should consider whether a survey can collect the required data, helping get to the source of the problem. If, prior to a business decision, you need the inputs of people and want these results quickly then survey is the best technique. But survey is not a miracle pill, it is just the way you use it. Many business organizations enter into a survey expecting to find something interesting, and end up with nothing. This is why before plunging into a survey project there is need for careful analysis and planning. Well planned surveys are easy to implement and analyze. They are also finished quickly, helping you address the issue on time. If valuable data is collected quickly and then policies are implemented on time it can lead to customer satisfaction.

Questions to Ask Before a Survey Project

Surveys should be well thought out and planned. Goals should be delineated. This is why successful organizations always ask themselves the following questions before moving into a survey project:

  • What are you looking to learn?
  • How much time will it take?
  • What will be the costs?
All these questions can be answered only if you have a plan ready at hand before implementing the survey. So, the secret to a successful survey campaign often lies in the quality of planning.

Factors that should be accounted for in a Survey Plan

There are various types of surveys and their scopes are dependent on the end goals. So, there are bound to be many inter-related issues. But all survey plans should take into account six key areas:

  • Value of Survey
  • Cost of Survey
  • Project Definition
  • Setting the Audience
  • Selecting the Project Team
  • Deciding Timeline of Project


How to Plan for Survey Value?

Understanding the survey value is the first step in survey project planning. Organizations must understand the importance and scope of the survey. They should know the benefits of such data accumulation campaign to their core work. When calculating for the value of your project always take into account the below given three factors:

  • Define the decisions that you need to make
  • Costs that would be incurred if those decisions went wrong
  • Level of uncertainty the survey project can reduce
When you are launching a product based on the popular trend you can get it verified by the populace. They are the end users; they will be able to tell you what is needed. If you take a decision on your own, without understanding the mind of end users than the product may fail. This is where defining the needs of the survey is very important. Once that is defined you will find the survey project can save you lots of dollars, by providing insights about customers. If there are additional issues, you can plan for follow up surveys too.

How to Decide the Cost of Survey?

The next big step in survey project planning is calculating your costs. Many businesses find they have exceeded the budget only after the survey is underway. So, a planned approach will keep you in good stead. If you want a quality survey it will never come cheap, though there are methods that are economical over others. Apart from the cost of resource time there are three different types of costs that you will incur, such as:

  • Cost of creating the survey infrastructure
  • Money needed for inviting the respondents and encouraging them for the survey participation
  • Costs that would go into data entry and later analysis
It has been generally seen that web based surveys are much economical than the telephonic or mail based surveys. In the later options companies have to spend for postage, designing, printing, telephone bills, call personnel and data entry.

How to Define the Project?

This is the stage when the elements of a survey have to be finalized. You have to decide on the measurable objectives and set standards for the survey. This stage will help you use information for future surveys. An example of objective statement for a Survey could be:

Measuring the visitors to a website within the next week and to see how the online advertising campaign is bringing target audiences.

When you are calculating the time always include the time that will be taken in inviting respondents, gathering data, entering the data and finally analyzing the results. Each of these steps is affected by the way you conduct your survey. The time taken for email surveys will be much higher than telephonic surveys purely because of the waiting times. The next decision is regarding inviting the respondents. There are plenty of mediums to invite such as emails, online advertising or website links. Select the option that you are comfortable with.

How to Select the Survey Audience?

It is important to decide: who is going to respond to your survey? Surveys aim at different types of audiences such as prospects, customers, employees or other members. The selection of survey audience is mainly dependent on the objective your survey is looking to meet. After you have selected the audience, think about the number of respondents you would need to validate the accuracy of information. Generally, the rule is: greater the number of respondents more accurate the results are. If you want a rough estimation than the number of respondents could be reduced. It should be also kept in mind that a percentage of the respondents you invite might not respond. The rate with email surveys is traditionally low and hovers around 2-3%. Telephonic surveys allow retries and have larger success percentage.

How to Select the Project Team?

If you want to conduct the survey internally then there is need to identify the resources. The team you select will largely depend on the kind of survey you are planning. A few key internal resources are needed for any type of survey, such as:

  • Human Resources
  • Market Research
  • IT Support
You can omit this stage if the survey is being outsourced to an outbound solutions provider.

How to Set the Project Timeline?

To set a project timeline you have to get back to the drawing board. List all the tasks that are involved and their specific order of completion. Set a logical timeline for each of the survey tasks and then assign them to personnel. After assigning the tasks keep a note of their start dates. Maintain control over your survey as it moves along. Ask for detailed time sheets from all the involved resources.

This was a list of activities that go into a successful survey project planning. Though the process seems long, yet it is essential if you want to reach the objectives with your survey.

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