Steps to deliver a successful survey project

A successful survey project depends upon having 1) a robust process and 2) expertise in designing surveys, getting responses, analysing results, presenting results and planning action.

Establishing clear goals and objectives is the key starting pointfor a survey project. Goals provide overarching direction and the primary aim of the project. Goals guide decision making. Objectives are specific and measurable steps to meet the goals. Start with goals and then break them down into the objectives.

Here is a simple process to follow to ensure success.

  1. Plan the survey project
  2. Design and pilot the survey
  3. Get survey responses
  4. Analyze the survey results and develop recommendations
  5. Present the results and plan action
Steps for a successful survey project

Step 1: Plan the survey project

  • Agree the scope, survey project objectives and target audience
  • Consult with key stakeholders about the survey requirements
  • Create a steering committee in need
  • Define the key policies for the project (e.g. anonymity, confidentiality, level of access to results)
  • Develop the project plan

Step 2: Design & pilot the survey & communications

  • Define the reporting requirements (demographic, target groups, etc.)
  • Design the survey and communications
  • Pilot the survey and communications and refine. Pilot again in need.
  • Obtain survey sign-off

Step 3: Get responses

  • Set up the project and obtain participant details
  • Distribute surveys and provide support
  • Ensure confidentiality and anonymity policies are met
  • Follow up surveys to achieve/exceed target response rates

Step 4: Analyse results & develop recommendations

  • Analyse results and identify key trends
  • Develop recommendations
  • Create compelling and focused reports

Step 5: Make decisions & act

  • Present results and the Case for Action
  • Make decisions and plan action
  • Communicate results and plans to key stakeholders

Watch this video for a summary of the steps in a survey project.


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