The goal of every research project is to either improve on an existing idea or to create new frameworks to guide a theory towards a conclusion. Yet, another similarity is that every project will be riddled with successes and failures along the way. No matter how much work a researcher puts into his or her project, a successful outcome is not guaranteed.
Statistically speaking, only one in eight projects will culminate in a wholly successful outcome. This is due to a multitude of reasons, but there are some common elements that lend a project towards a more or less successful conclusion.
Common Factors That Lead to More Successful Outcomes
Certain elements have been analyzed and found to be in the majority of successful research projects. From organization to finished product, the typical model research includes these factors:
● Setting clear expectations. This is particularly necessary if you are collaborating with a team. Together, take as much time as is needed at the start to define the entire scope of the project. Heading into the work while everyone is on a different page can mess up the results and become time-consuming to fix the issues created.
Instead, sit together and ask questions that lead to the end result. Verify that everyone knows where the project is headed and the main steps that need to be taken to get there. Check that everyone is also in the same frame of mind about the need to stick to the deadline tightly or to adjust it as necessary when sections require more thorough investigating.
● Define each person’s responsibilities. Assuming everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing is dangerous. When your expectations have been clarified, turn the focus towards setting explicit lists for each person’s roles and responsibilities.
This is particularly well-done when the team leader is able to do their job confidently, acting in ways that encourage their group to do what must be done without forcefulness. Effective team performance includes having a leader or rotating leaders who can oversee major decisions and ensure work is being completed, then enlist in individual interventions as necessary.
Each team member should know their responsibilities and those roles should complement their skills and allow the individual to make solid contributions to the overall project.
● A calendar of deadlines should be created. Not every target deadline will be met, for various reasons. But failure to meet a specific, reasonable deadline can cause the entire team to backslide.
Working together, a calendar of target goals and time frames can be developed, in which each member has a say in whether the deadline is reasonable and what obstacles may be in the way of them meeting the goal. This turns surprising delays into foreseeable challenges that can be overcome.
● Focus on offering support mechanisms. When administrative support of some kind is present, it’s more likely for the research project in an institution to be successful. For this reason, it’s important that the administration is encouraged to have a say in the project’s progression.
However, a positive relationship amongst the team is also crucial. There should be cooperation between each other, regular communication of progress, concerns, and setbacks, and enough support to evoke continued interest with each member.
This may require team building to create stable foundations, or it could mean delaying a deadline for the good of the group if tensions begin to be noticed. The work will go faster, and more smoothly, when everyone is collaborating, communicating, and supporting each other.
For researchers working by themselves, these strategies can still be applied. However, every step, deadline, and responsibility is one they must hold themselves accountable to.
Collaborate with Impactio for Success
When you’re struggling to use the program of your choice to turn in your research, it can delay all your hard work. Instead, add Impactio as part of your tools for success!
Impactio is an all-in-one program that you and your team can use to share your findings, compile your research achievements into a finished profile, and gauge the impact of your work after it’s published!
With Impactio, the likelihood of your research being successful improves because you have the tools to create a professional submission.