Posted by: Joanna Zimmerman
Everyone knows the age-old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Uplifting as this sounds, with the speed at which things move today, I’m willing to bet that most professionals want to accomplish tasks on the first try, and most employers have a low tolerance for the whole “not succeeding” thing.
What if we had the insight to prevent errors, thereby eliminating the need to perform a task again?
The truth is, with a little forethought and planning, we can control certain aspects of our work. For instance, a successful questionnaire must be well planned and designed. Creating your questionnaire with your end goal in sight allows you to focus on what you want to get out of your reporting, which helps you formulate and format the questions.
Jumping feet first into the design process without proper planning can leave you in a difficult position.
I worked with a client recently who was hoping to do a giveaway based on answers to a yes or no question, but only as it applied to a particular region. Because there was no question in the survey that asked respondents to provide their geographical information, the user called to ask for assistance in identifying which of those respondents fit the criteria for the giveaway.
Well, this task would have been easy enough if we could have created a filter based on the geographic question. As it stood, there was little to do but examine each respondent individually and match them to information that was “living” outside of the system.
Had the administrator discussed with their team all the ways they could use the data, they would have quickly realized the necessity of allowing respondents to enter this information. Instead, this oversight decreased efficiency by creating extra work.
Proper preparation and being unafraid to ask questions can save you a lot of time and headaches. With a little planning, we can happily retire the phrase “try, try again” — and concentrate on being successful the first time.