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How to make your project successful

Before beginning to plan what you will measure (using the Framework to help) it is good to think about how you will make the project a success. The guidance below should help with this.

Integrating into Practice
By far the best way to get a clinically based project up and running is to have it well integrated into your daily routine.  To do this you should:

Form your project team
While this may not be relevant for all of you (e.g., if you are using the Framework as an individual or are not the project co-ordinator/developer), if you are developing a project that will involve more than just you then you should consider who you need to be working with.  This may be governed by who your manager assigns to the team, or who else is obliged to be involved.  However, if you are tasked with forming a team you should consider:

  • Who will be essential in the project?
  • Who would be helpful to have on the team?
  • Who do you know you can work with productively (so not just a friend!)?

Once you have worked this out you can get in touch with the prospective team members and start discussing the project.  Initial face to face meetings are helpful.  These will help you to get to know the team as a whole and to make sure that everyone knows what their roles are and what the project is about.

Agree on a clear aim for the project with the team
The project co-ordinator or developer should already have some idea of what they aim to measure, or at least what they want to measure.  However, often it is useful to discuss the aims of a project as a team, to get everyone’s views.  Perhaps a member of the team will see things in a different and insightful way that could simplify things.  Agreeing on a clear aim will help to reduce any future confusion, and having the team involved in this will help to make sure that everyone feels like they are a part of the project and not just a workhorse.  Everyone will be more likely to engage with the project if they are involved in this way at this early stage.

Consider Using existing structures
Where possible it is best to try to fit the project into the daily routines of people’s day to day work.  The Framework has tried to help with this by only suggesting measures that are useful but that are as brief as they can be.  However you can consider where possible:

  • Integrating measures into existing routinely collected data, thus causing as little alteration to normal practice as possible
    Altering normal practice in order to accommodate the project.  For example:
    • giving staff time in the rota to collect data
    • placing data collection points for staff or patients to deposit surveys/data collection sheets (e.g., a drop box)
    • having a specific location for staff to collect blank materials from when they have run out (e.g., a specific filing cabinet drawer to hold all of the materials, or a folder for each staff member)
    • making all the materials needed accessible
    • having an information sheet detailing the basic aims and procedures for the project available – it is easy to forget!
  • Making sure that the timescale is feasible – having a reasonable expectation of staff will let them get on with the work at an appropriate pace, improving the quality of the project  
  • Making it clear to all staff who will be involved the time-span for collecting the information and the procedure for doing so
  • Making it clear to all involved staff why you are collecting the information – they will be more likely to comply if they know the purpose of the data collection
  • Making it clear to all involved staff what will be done with the information – staff can become worried that the information that they collect will be used against them or used to judge them.  Even if it is to evaluate their performance, let them know.  Again, they will be far less anxious and more likely to comply if they know what the data will be used for.

Click to move onto 'Developing your aims'


© Copyright 2012 NMAHP RU, Stirling University