Applying a project management approach to survey research projects that use qualitative methods
A systematic approach to manage project processes is often a necessity on large and complex quantitative surveys (Piskurich 2012; Weeks 2011). However, the use of a project management approach is not well documented on qualitative survey research projects. This is possibly because qualitative studies often do not involve a large sample and vary in the degree of structure. While less common than large quantitative studies, large and complex qualitative research studies are commissioned to provide an in-depth, ethnographic picture of topics that are not well understood by only looking at the “numbers.” Our efforts to apply and integrate a project management approach on a large qualitative research study (276 qualitative interviews; large team of interviewers and recruiters; complex recruitment and processes) offer an opportunity to estimate the impact of these efforts on the success of the study and on data quality. We also provide recommendations on project management for future qualitative research studies.