Planning Your Research

Having a well thought out approach to your research will help ensure the project meets its goals and objectives by identifying timelines, budgets, activities, and ways of working together.

Planning your research involves:

  • Selecting the research team     
  • Creating a research plan
  • Managing logistics
  • Creating a debriefing plan

Selecting Your Research Team

The research team will often be led by a service designer from the Strategic Design and Transformation Branch (SDTB). The team lead will work in collaboration with the program area to develop a core team to conduct research. The investment in research provides the greatest return when staff from a program area are full participants. This allows them to have their own insights into the citizen experience and they can provide ongoing contribution to the project.

The Research Plan

The research plan outlines the goals, approach and logistics for research, and should include:

  • Research objectives, key questions, and areas of interest
  • Project background
  • What kind of participants need to be involved, and how to recruit them
  • The research approach including methods for research and analysis
  • Research reporting plans
  • Resources required, including team, time and budget
  • A schedule for research activities and locations
  • Support materials (if ready at this point in time) such as:
    • Interview scripts and workshop outlines
    • Recruiting screener to qualify research participants

The research plan can and should be updated throughout the project, if required. This plan is simply a guide; the team may have to adapt on the fly to accommodate unexpected changes in schedules, participants or direction of the research. 

Managing Research Logistics

Good logistics will help the team focus on the research by making sure all the administrative tasks are covered. 

This includes:

  • Participant recruiting and incentives
  • Scheduling internal and external participants
  • Arranging in-person site visits
  • Travel arrangements
  • Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)
  • Consent forms and other paperwork (e.g. stipend receipts)
  • Travel authorizations

Research Debriefing

Debriefing is a team review of research findings held shortly after a research activity. The team should have regular sessions to summarize research findings, share insights and build a common understanding. Depending on your project, agree on the best way to share findings throughout the team.