Make your Research Count. Or, don’t bother.
Research is integral to any new project. Stakeholders need to know that your information is accurate and on point. Diving head first into any research project is fool hardy. You need to have a solid foundation and understanding where you are going. Preparation is the key.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before beginning your research.
1. Know why you are doing the research. Have a definite understanding of why you are conducting the research.
2. Set a reasonable timeline. You’ll never have all the answers. Better to have 75% of the answers before the deadline then 100% after.
3. Know your critical questions. It’s easy to get side tracked. Know your core questions and keep them in front of you.
4. Know your resources. Someone has the answer to your question. Your quest is to find it. Asking the core questions puts you on the right path to getting the question answered.
5. Know your information options. Primary research requires a solid collection methodology. Secondary research involves sources. Prioritize your sources and keep in mind that deadline.
6. Know who can help you. Think about the about your resources and the time commitment involved. Just because your resource was there for your last project doesn’t mean that same resource will be there.
7. Know your maps. Mapping out your plan and keeping in front of you means you won’t lose focus. Take your time with this map. It is your guide and will keep you on the right path.
8. Take action. This is where you work your plan. This is where you will commit to and execute your plan. Keep your goals and maps in front of you.