What are the steps in a survey project?

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By Mark Sinclair

updated 4 months ago

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.

Check out our Ultimate Survey Guide.

Establishing clear goals and objectives is the key starting point for a survey project. Here is a simple process to follow to ensure success.

Step 1: Plan the 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


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