Best Practices for Project Launch
by Mike Poirier
Summary: A lot of the work of a market research manager during the first quarter is consumed with launching new projects for the coming year. Many experiential and traditional market research projects we manage run over the course of several months, so the planning process can get fairly complex and demanding because clients typically want results as soon as possible. We have a specific, project launch process to help us meet those tight deadlines without sacrificing any key elements. I want to share a couple of the documents we prepare at the launch of a new project that serve as the foundation for the project itself.
The Methodology Brief
Market research projects tend to be presented to a wide variety of individuals, many of whom have little or no involvement in the actual execution of the project itself because they have a laundry list of other responsibilities. Whether they’re glancing over the final results of the research for planning purposes, or signing the check, they should be in the loop for what the project entails. For that, we draft a methodology brief for every project and provide it to our clients to be shared across any of their departments. The methodology brief provides an overview of the following items:
- Research Objectives
- Hypothesis Questions
- Proposed Data Collection Methods
- Insights From Previous Research (if applicable)
For reporting purposes, we also include any available information about the types of the consumers the brand is targeting and any other consumer segments that we plan to analyze based on the research objectives. That way, we stay consistent, by reporting only on relevant information. Anyone can circle back to the methodology brief and relate the analysis results to what we were tasked to do.
The Measurement Calendar
After the methodology brief is delivered and reviewed with the client, it’s time to start planning the actual project.
At PortMA, we adhere strictly to a project measurement calendar from start to finish. We share that calendar with the client so everyone is following the same timeline. Deadlines for recap reports tend to come up around the same time, especially at the end of a quarter. Developing a comprehensive measurement calendar at launch helps us plan ahead for those crunches, so report delivery dates are never compromised, and value is not lost.
These are just a couple ways that we demonstrate how closely we manage our projects.
Photo Source: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/117/250918147_8328cfdbec_n.jpg