Project Implementation

A project should be implemented effectively show as the achieve project objectives successfully. The allocation of project tasks to project team within the organization is involved in implementation. The main responsible person for implementation of project is project manager. He drives the project with many obstacles and conditions.

The steps for project implementation are:
  1. Preparing for project implementation
  2. Engaging and supervising consultants
  3. Contracting for civil works
  4. Procurement of goods, services, equipments
  5. Supervision of equipment installation and civil works
  6. Receiving project budget
  7. Monitoring and control
1. Preparing for project implementation
The steps for implementation are
a) Establishing the project office: The project office is established at the project site. All physical and logistics facilities needed in an office are provided.
b) Acquisition of Human Resources: Project success depends on the competency and efficiency of the project team. Needed employees are acquired here.
c) Defining and assigning responsibilities: Every member of project team is provided with a job description specifying
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Authority
  • Accountability for results
d) Establishing a project information system: An information system is established to record all project activities. It serves as a database for tracking project information. It contains employee records. It should be computerized.

2. Engaging and supervising consultants
Projects generally use consultants for specialized activities, such as:
  • Engineering design preparation and review
  • Preparation and review of bidding document
  • Evaluation of bids
  • Supervision of civil construction works
  • Other specialized activities etc
3. Contracting for civil works
Contractors play an important role in implementation. Projects involve a lot of contracting and subcontracting for civil construction works.
  • Guidelines, procedures, financial rules and regulations are followed for contracting of civil works. Generally, selection of contractors is based on:
    • Tender document
    • Pre-qualification of contractors
    • Notice for call of tender bids. A pre-bid meeting is held.
    • Evaluation of tender bids and selection of contractor.
    • Contract agreement with the selected contractor.
  • If the project is donor refunded, the guidelines prescribed by the donors must be  followed for award of the contract.
4. Procurement of goods, services, equipments
Projects require procurement of goods, services and equipments. The financial rules and regulations and guidelines for procurement are followed. Minimum standard of workmanship specified for services are followed:
  • Procurement can be through:
    • direct purchase from the market
    • quotation based, generally three quotations are required
    • tender based which can be local, national or global
  • Specifications should be complied for procurement purposes.
5. Supervision of equipment installation and civil works
The installation of machinery and equipment by the suppliers is properly supervised. Project consultants and technical personnel of the project generally carry out the job of supervision.

6. Receiving project budget
The financial resources for the project are acquired from the donor or customer. Arrangements are made with banks for overdraft in cases of emergencies.

7. Monitoring and control
The project performance is properly monitored and controlled during implementation. The project performance is measured, evaluated and corrected.

Monitoring involves project progress reporting. Projects require periodic reporting of progress for feedback. Monitoring provides information about:
  • physical targets and achievements
  • financial targets and achievements
  • scheduling targets and achievements
  • problems encountered in project implementation
  • possible solutions for solving the problems
Daily and monthly status reporting is generally done. Project report are prepared in the prescribed format. They are delivered on time to the project participants and others. All activities during implementation are documented and reported.

Project costs should be effectively controlled. Standard costing and budgetary control tools are used for controlling  costs. Cost is an important constraint in the project. Cost escalations should be prevented. Material cost should be effectively controlled.

8. Controlling project changes
Environmental changes and technological uncertainties necessitate changes in project  design and time table. The implications of such changes on cost, time and quality are carefully studied. 

Project Manager as Project Leader

The project manager as project leader should balance task-orientation and people-orientation. He should take a situational approach to leadership.
  • In a situation of tight schedule constraint in the project, autocratic style may be desirable to meet deadlines. Crisis situations also need this style.
  • In a  situation of decentralized  authority to professionals in the project, democratic style may be desirable to create a climate of cooperation and trust.

The role of a project manager also influences style. The various roles can be:
  1. Leadership Role: To direct and influence the project team.
  2. Balancing Role: To balance the needs of parent organization, stakeholders, customers, project and project team.
  3. Informational Role: To gather and disseminate information about the project and communicate it to stakeholders.
  4. Decisional Role: To make decisions about day-to-day project activities such as resource allocation, negotiation, disturbance handling etc.
Skills Requirements of Project Manager
The following skills are required for an effective project management to lead the project:
  1. Technical Skills: Ability to perform a specialized task or function. Expertise, however, is not needed.
  2. Management Skills: Ability to practice management concepts, tools and techniques. Ability to delegate to others.
  3. Human Relations Skills: Ability to get along with people and get the jobs done through people. Understanding relationships.
  4. Conceptual Skills: Ability to integrate diverse people into an effective team. Develop skills of others to lead in their own ares.
  5. Risk Management Skills: The project environment is full of surprises. The risk management skills are essential.

Techniques for making Teams effective

  1. Set Guidelines:
    • Identification of what drives the team.
    • Clearly defined goals. Members should have clear understanding of the goals.
    • Clearly defined authority, responsibility and accountability.
    • Optimal size of team members.
    • Leader who leads the team.
    • Issues to be focused
    • Plans to set targets.
  2.  Focus Teams on Performance:
    • Skills of team members should be appropriate and relevant. Members should be provided with training.
    • Cordial interpersonal relations should be developed.
    • Motivation of members should be high.
    • Commitment of team members should be total.
    • Communication should be open and flow in all directions.
    • Top management should create environment of commitment and trust.
    • Performance evaluation should be a continuous process.
  3. Revisit Work Design
    • Autonomy: It is responsibility for what one does. It provides freedom in decision making.
    • Skill variety: It is variety in the use of abilities and skills. Lack of variety leads to boredom.
    • Task identity: It is doing the whole piece of work. It provides a sense of accomplishment.
    • Task significance: It is the feeling that the work has meaning to people inside and outside the organization.
  4. Manage Conflicts within Team
    • Creating mutual trust among members.
    • Unified commitment to team goals.
    • Open communication with active listening. Removing barriers to communication.
    • Effective leadership.

Critical Behavioral Issues

Human beings are a complex phenomenon. Two people act differently in same situation. As we know behavior of an individual and behavior of group are quite different. Thus, due to the complexities that are found in behavior, regulating an organization smoothly has become a problem, which have been great challenges for the managers. The challenges that has to be faced due to critical behavior by the manager are as follows:
  1. Responding to globalization: Today, world is like a small village due to globalization. Manager of today are required to work with people from different cultures. Globalization requires managers to modify their management practices to suit differences among people from different cultures and countries.
  2. Work force diversity: Work force diversity refers different types of work force in organization. It means that there is the diversity of the work force. Organization has become heterogeneous in terms of gender, race and ethnicity. So due to work force diversity, there is a great challenge for the manager to manage all its manpower towards the goal of the organization. But this challenges can be an opportunity for the manager if s/he innovates and creates the idea handling them properly.
  3. Skill deficiency: Skill deficiency has been another critical behavioral issues for the manager to be confronted. Due to the development of IT sector, companies are installing advance technologies to cope with competition. Company at one hand has installed the advance technology but at the other hand they have lacking of the required skill to operate this technology. They have the problem that the existing staff do not posses the required skill and they can't replace those existing staff by the new having required skill. Providing training to the existing staff costs much that hiring from outside. Thus, this behavioral issue is also facing by the present day managers.
  4. Managing change: Change is an on-going activity for most organizations. Change is need for both employee and managers. Employee needs change to continually update their knowledge and skill to meet new job requirements. Managers are familiars about change to live with flexibility. Spontaneous and unpredictability change effectively managed can only protect organization norms, culture, values etc.
  5. Improvising ethical behavior: Managers of today face a lot of ethical dilemmas. Managers need to create an ethically healthy climate for employee. They should establish codes of conduct, and offer training and seminars to improve to ethical behavior.

Organizational Behavior

The organizational behavior is related with the behavior of human beings at work. It is the study and application of knowledge about how people as individual and as group behave or act in organizations. It provides a useful set of tools at many levels of analysis. For instance, it helps manager to look at the behavior of individuals and groups (both formal and informal) with in an organization. It is a human tool for human benefit and seeks to know the behavior of people in all types of organizations.

All organizations, be these business, educational or government, are social system. It is the combination of men, money, machinery, material and management, commonly known as 5 Ms. In fact, it is management i.e. people who actually take care of other 4 Ms. Then, it means that the functioning of an organization depends upon how people work or behave in the organization.

To sum up, organizational behavior is concerned with the study of how and what people act in organizations and also how their behave affect the performance of the organization from one side. The other sides, it applies knowledge gained about an individuals and groups in order to make organizations work more effectively.

Nature of Organization

With regard to organization, the key assumptions are that they are social systems and that they are formed on the basis of mutual interest.
  1. Social Systems: From sociology, we learn that organizations are social system; consequently, activities therein are governed by social laws as well as psychological laws. Just as people have psychological needs, they also have social roles and status; their behavior is influenced by their group as well as by their individual drives. In fact, two types of social system exist by side in organizations. One is formal (official) social system, and the other is the informal social system. The existence of a social system implies that the organizational environment is one of dynamic change rather than a static set of relations as pictured on an organization chart. All part of the system are interdependent and each part is subject to influence by any other part. Everything is related to everything else. The idea of a social system provides a framework for analyzing organizational behavior issues. It helps to make organizational behavior problems understandable and manageable.
  2. Mutual Interest: Mutual interest is represented by the statement "Organizations need people, and people also need organizations". Organizations have a human purpose. They are formed and maintained on the basis of some mutuality of interest among their participants. People see organizations as a means to help them reach their goals while at the some time organizations need  people to help reach organizational objectives. If mutuality is lacking, it makes no sense to try to assemble a group and develop co-operation, because there is no common base on which to build. Mutual interest provides a super-ordinate goal that unites the variety of needs that people bring to organizations. The result is that people are encouraged to attack organizational problems rather than each other.

Nature of People

There are six basic assumptions about the nature of people which are described below
  1. Individual differences: People have much in common (they become excited or they are grieved by the loss of loved one), but each person in the world is also individual different. The idea of individual differences comes originally from psychology. From the day of birth, each person is unique and individual experiences after birth make people even more different. Individual difference means the management can get the greatest motivation among employees by treating them differently. Individual differences require that justice and rightness with employees shall be individual not statistical. The idea of individual differences is supported by science. Each person is different from all others, probably in millions of ways, just as each person's DNA profile is different as far as we know. And these differences are usually substantial rather than meaningless. As for example, a person of billion brain cells and the billions of possible combinations of connections and bit of experiences that are stored there. All people are different and this diversity needs to be recognized and viewed as a valuable asset to organizations.
  2. A whole person: Although some organization's may wish they could employ only a person's skill, all that they can employ is a whole person, rather than certain separate characteristics. Different human traits may be separately studied, but in the final analysis they are all part of one system making up a whole person. Skill does not exist apart from background or knowledge. Home life is no totally separable from work life and emotional conditions are not separate from physical conditions. People function as total human beings.
  3. Motivated behavior: From psychology, we learn that normal behavior has certain causes. They may relate to a person's needs or the consequences that result from acts. In the case of needs, people are motivated not by what we think they ought to have but by what they themselves want. To an outside observer, a person's needs may be unrealistic. But they are still controlling. This fact leaves management with two basic ways to motivate people. It can show them how certain actions will increase their need fulfillment is the better approach, Motivation is essential to the operation of organizations. No matter how much technology and equipment an organization has, these resources cannot be use until they are released and guided by people who have been motivated.
  4. Desire for involvement: Many employees today are actively seeking opportunities at work to become involved in relevant decisions. Thereby contributing their talents and ideas to the organization's success. They are hunger for the chance to share what they know and to learn from the experiences. Consequently, organizations need to provide opportunities for meaningful involvement. This can be achieved through employee empowerment - a practice that will result in mutual benefit for both parties.
  5. Perception: People look at the world and see things differently. Even when presented with the same object, two people may view it in tow different ways. Their view of their objective environment is filtered by perception. This is the unique way in which each person sees, organizes and interprets things, people use an organized framework that they have built out of a lifetime of experience and accumulated values. Having unique view in another way in which people insist on acting like human beings rather than rational machines. Employees see in their personalities, needs, demographic factors, and past experiences, or they may find themselves in different physical setting, time periods or social surrounding. Therefore, a rational manager must learn to expect perceptual differences among their employees, accept people as emotional beings, and manage them in individual ways.
  6. Value of the person (human dignity): People deserve to be treated differently from other factors of production (i.e. land, capital, resources and technology) because they are of a higher order in the universe. Because of this distinction, they want to be treated with caring, respect, and dignity; they demand such treatment from their employers. They refuse to accept the old idea that they are simply economic tools. They want to be valued for their skills and abilities and to provide with opportunities to develop themselves.

Sampling error and non-sampling error

In the collection, processing, analysis and interpretation of the data some errors or inaccuracies are arises. These errors are broadly classified under the following heads:
1) Sampling errors
In a sample survey, we study a small portion or part of the population. So naturally there is a certain amount of inaccuracy in the information collected, the result obtained from it has a chance of being differ from the census survey. This type of errors is known as sampling error. Sampling  error is due to the fact that only a subset of the population i.e. sample has been used to estimate the population parameter and draw inference about the population.

Sampling errors occur randomly and the magnitude of the sampling error depends upon the nature of the population; the more homogeneous the population, the smaller the sampling error.

The main sources of sampling error are:
  • Improper choice of sampling technique: Improper choice of sampling technique causes the error in a survey. The error can be minimized by selecting a proper sampling technique for the purpose of study.
  • Improper substitution: If some difficulties arise in enumerating a particular sampling unit included in the samples, the investigator usually substitute a convenient member of the population. Such substitution leads to some error.
  • Improper choice of sampling units: Result of the sampling study are mostly depend upon the sampling unit. So, proper method should be used while selecting a sampling units.
  • Improper choice of the statistic in estimation: Sampling method consists in estimating the parameters of the population using appropriate statistics computed from the sample. Improper choice of the estimation techniques might introduce the error.
  • Variability of the population: Sampling error also depends on the variability of the population. Lesser the variability, lesser the error and vice versa.
2. Non-sampling errors
The errors arising at the stages of ascertainment i.e. responses or observation, processing and analysis of the data are termed as non-sampling errors. This type of errors are present both in census surveys and in sample surveys. The non-sampling error is likely to increase with increase in sample size, while sampling error decreases with increase in sample size.

The main sources of non-sampling errors are:
  • Faulty planning, include vague and faulty definition of the population or the statistical units to be used.
  • Observational errors due to defective measurement technique.
  • Errors introduced in editing, coding and tabulating the results of the study.
  • Personal bias of the investigator in the different stages of the study.
  • Non-response bias of the respondent.
  • Lack of trained and qualified investigators
  • Publication errors etc.

Format of a research report

A research report is simply a statement or description of things that have done during the process of research. In the last stage of research, researcher write report about the research which is known as research research report. The output of the research is a research report.

There is no fixed format of a research report. It differs from person to person and nature of the research. A format of research report includes the contents of research report. General format of a research report be describe as below:
  1. Preliminaries
  2. The main body or the text
  3. The end section/ reference material
1. Preliminaries
Before writing the body of the research some few pages of preliminary materials are included in the research report. It consists of the following parts:
  • Title page
  • Acceptance page
  • Acknowledgement page
  • Table of contents
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
2. The main body or the text
It is the main part of the research report. This part should be written with proper care and seriousness. The main body of the research report includes
  • Introduction
  • Review of literature
  • Methodology
  • Presentation of the data
  • Conclusions and recommendation
 Each part should be started in a new page
This is the first chapter of research report. It includes the brief discussion of the subject matter of the study. In this chapter, we include purpose of the study, the problem, the theoretical framework, the variables under the study, research hypothesis, assumption made under the study, the definition of the terms used in the study.

Review of Literature
This chapter includes the significance and justification for the present study, the scope of the study, conceptual framework, what type of study had been made in past in same area, what type of conclusion are found in the past under the same type of study.

  • Research design
  • Sampling procedure
  • The data gathering procedure
  • Statistical procedure
  • Data processing procedure
  • Pilot study
  • Limitation of the study
Presentation of the data
This chapter is the heart of the research report. Organized presentation of results and each major division of the problem should be presented in separate chapter. This chapter includes presentation of the arguments, documentation, ideas or concepts, interpretation and findings. Descriptive analysis, correlation analysis and inferential analysis should be included in this report.

Conclusions and recommendation
This is the end part of the main body. It consists summary, conclusions, suggestions and recommendations. Conclusion of the research activities should be written in this chapter. Suggestions for further research should be also included in this chapter.

3. The end section/ reference materials
This is the end part of the research report. It includes
  •  Bibliography
  • Appendix
  • Vita
The bibliography also called references must include in the report. In this part all published and unpublished concerned reading materials mentioned in text of footnotes, while preparing report should be mentioned.

It is used for additional or supplementary materials, which has not included in the main text. Appendix includes complex tables, original data schedules, questionnaire, statistical tests etc.

In this section brief biographical resume of the researcher should be included. In this section, following information should be included.
  • Name of the researcher
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Educational qualification
  • Trainings
  • Experiences

Presentation of Research Report

Presentation of a research report is a quite important job of the researcher/ investigator. Keeping in view the objective and nature of the problem, the layout of the report should be thought of and decided accordingly and adopted. The presentation  of the report mostly influenced by the layout of the report.

Objective of the study, the nature of the problem, the methods employed and the analysis techniques adopted must all be clearly stated in the beginning of the report in the form of introduction. A good picture is often worth more than a thousand words. Statistics used in the research report should be presented in the form of tables, charts and diagrams. Charts, sections, sub-section, tables etc should be labeled adequately. The system of headings and subheadings should be kept simple. The sequence of the sections and subsections should be logical and clear.

The report should be free from grammatical mistakes and must be prepared strictly in accordance with the techniques of composition of report-writing. The research report is to be in the third person. The introduction, data analysis and findings are to be in the past tense. Conclusion in the present tense and the recommendations in the future tense. The pronouns such as I, My, Ours, We etc. must be eliminated from the report. Instead of using he/she, the writer might use the words 'the writer' or 'the investigator' to refer to the researcher.

The system of presentation of research report should be simple and logical. Report must be attractive in appearance, neat and  clean. It should be written on unruled paper 3.5*11 in general size. On only one side of the page report should be typed. The rules of margins should be followed. Research report should be long enough to cover the subject but short-enough to maintain interest. Research report should be such as to sustain reader's interest.

Preparation of Research Proposal

After identifying and defining the problem researcher must arrange his ideas in order and write them in the form of plan. This  written plan is known as research proposal. Thus, research proposal is the plan for the research investigation. The plan of the researcher must supported by some logical evidence. These logical evidences are included in the proposal.

A researcher proposal has generally following for parts:
  1. The title
  2. The introduction
  3. The research methodology and
  4. The bibliography (the references). 
While preparing research proposals, the following things to be included in it.
  • The title of the proposals should be given.
  • The title should be such which reflects the contents of the research study.
  • As far as possible the title should be short. 
Background information
  • The background of the problem which the researcher aim to study should be given.
  • Description of the topic is to be included.
  • Background information on the organization to be included.
  • The information how the researcher developed interest in it.
  • Relevance of the proposed study.
 Statement of the problem
  • Statement of the general problem which is being investigated or tested should be given.
  • Statement of research problem.
 Theoretical framework
  • A brief survey of the related literature is to be included.
  • The variables considered on the study and the relationship between the variables are identified.
Statement of hypothesis/ objectives
  • The hypothesis is the main thing of the research process. So, statement of the research hypothesis must be included in it.
  • In case of exploratory or descriptive studies, the specific objectives of the research or study should be given.
Definition of terms
  • The technical terms which are used in the study be well explained.
Research methodology
  • The research design which is to be used  for studying is to be mentioned.
  • The nature of population, sample size and sampling methods are to be presented.
  • Sources of data and methods of data collection be well explained.
  • The data collection strategy  to be used  is to be mentioned.
  • The statistical tools which is to be used  in analysis of data are to be mentioned.
Limitation of the study
  • Limitation of the study if it has, should be included.
Bibliography/ References
  • Reference sources which are helpful for preparing research proposal should be presented alphabetically.

Research Problems

After selection of topic of the research, the next step of researcher is to identify research problem and it should be defined. Here the question arises, what research problem? Let's try to define a research problem.

In common parlance research problem refers to some difficulty which a research experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same. A research problem is one which requires researcher to find out the best solution for the given problem.

The components of a research problem are:
  • There must be an individual or a group which has some difficulty or problem.
  • There must be some objective(s) to be attained at. If one wants nothing, one cannot have a problem.
  • There must be alternative means or the courses of action for obtaining objective(s) one wishes to attain. This means that there must be at least means available to a researcher for if he has no choice of means, he can have a problem.
  • There must remain some doubt in the mind of a researcher with regard to selection of alternatives. This means that researcher must answer the questions concerning the relative efficiency of the possible alternatives.
  • There must be some environment(s) to which the difficulty pertains.
The research problem has the following three characteristics:
  • It should raise a question about a relationship between variables.
  • The relationship between the variables should be stated and explained clearly.
  • The problem statement should suggest a method of researching the question.
Identifying the research problem is the preliminary steps in research process. With utmost care the researcher should identify and define the research problem. It should be within the scope of his own interests.

To identify the problem, it is better to discuss with one's own colleagues or with those having some expertise in the matter. In an academic institution, the researcher can seek the help from a guide who is usually an experienced man and has several research problems in mind. He may discuss with others. In private business units or in governmental organizations, the problem is identified by discussing with administrative agencies how the problem originally came about and what considerations are involved in its possible solution. The researcher must examine all available literature related with the selected topic. This will enable the researcher to specify his own research problem in a meaningful context.

Research problem are necessary to perform a descriptive or hypothesis testing research studies whereas exploratory of formulative research does not require a problem, their aim is to find a problem or the hypothesis to be tested. So on identifying the problem this factor may also be considered.

The following key points may be kept in mind while identifying a research problem:
  • Subject which is earlier done should not be normally chosen.
  • Controversial subject should not be selected.
  • Too narrow or too vague problems should be avoided.
  • The problem selected for research should be familiar and feasible so that the related research material or sources of research are within one's reach.
  • The importance of the subject, the qualifications and the training of a researcher, the costs involved, and the time factor are also considered on identifying a research problem.
Hence, the research problem should be identified by giving due weightage to all mentioned points. The research problem must spring from the researcher's mind like a plant springing from its own seed.

Secondary data collection methods

Any data that have been collected earlier for some purpose are secondary data for the individuals who are using them. The data is a primary for those persons or institutions that collect them but the same data become secondary for another. Actually secondary data are the data, which are borrowed from others who have collected them for some other purpose. The secondary data are also called as second hand data since it is already collected by someone. The degree of accuracy of this type of data is comparatively less than that of the primary data. In order to collect secondary data, the following sources may be used.

1. Published Sources
  • Reports and publications of ministries, departments of the government.
  • Reports and publications of reputed INGO's such as UNDP, ADB, UNESCO, WHO, World Banks etc.
  • Reports and publications of reliable NGO's, journals, periodicals etc.
2. Unpublished Sources
  • Records maintained by government offices.
  • Records maintained by research institutions, research scholars etc.
  • Records updated by the departments, institutions for their internal purpose.

Considerations for designing a good questionnaire

A questionnaire is a set of questions arranged in sequential order and related to the investigation of inquiry. The questionnaires are sent to the respondent through different sources viz. by post, by Internet, by newspaper etc. Through the questionnaire primary data are collected. It is a most popular and widely used method for the big investigation.

In the questionnaire method, the questionnaire is the only media of communication between the investigator and the respondents. So the most important factor for the success of the questionnaire method is the skill, efficiency, care and the wisdom with which the questionnaire is framed. If the questionnaire is not properly prepared, then the survey is bound to fail. Making a good questionnaire is a highly specialized job and requires great care, skill, wisdom, efficiency and experience. There are no hard and fast rules for preparing a good questionnaire. However, the following general considerations might be taken while preparing questionnaire.
  • The questions should be few, short, clearly worded, simple and easy to reply.
  • The questions should be within the information scope of the respondents.
  • The questions should have direct relation to subject of the investigation.
  • The opening questions should not be such as to abuse human interest.
  • Units and technical terms are not to be used in question as far as possible.
  • The questions should be inter-related with each other.
  • The questions should proceed in logical sequence moving from easy to more difficult questions.
  • Personal and intimate questions are not to be included as far as possible.
  • Emotional questions should be avoided.
  • The questions should be so framed that there is a minimum of writing works. Questions may be dichotomous or multiple choice. Open-ended questions should be avoided to the extent possible.
  • The questions should be free from ambiguity. Vague expressions capable of different interpretations should be avoided in a questionnaire.
  • Answer to a question should be objective and have a capacity of easily classified, tabulated and analyzed.
  • There should be some control questions in the questionnaire which indicate the reliability of the respondent.
  • Adequate space for answers should be provided in the questionnaire.
  • There should always be provision for indications of uncertainty, e.g. "do not know", "No preference" and so on.
  • Questions should be so worded that ego of the respondents is not injured in any way.
  • If there is more than one page of questionnaires, each page of questionnaires should be numbered serially.
  • A place in the questionnaire should be provided for the signature of the respondent.
  • Brief directions with regard to filling up the questionnaire should be given.
  • The physical appearance of the questionnaire should be good. The quality of the paper, along with its color must be good.

Merits and Demerits of Mailed Questionnaire Method

Mailed questionnaire method of data collection is quite popular. In this method, a questionnaire is sent usually by post to the persons concerned with a request to answer the questions and return the questionnaire. This method is most widely used in various economic and business surveys.

The main merits of mailed questionnaire method of data collection:
  • This method is useful when the field of investigation is vast and the respondents are scattered over a wide area.
  • This is the most economical method in terms of money and manpower.
  • It is free from the bias of the interviewer.
  • Respondents have adequate time to give will thought out answers.
  • Large samples can be made use of and thus the results can be made more dependable and reliable.
  • Respondents, who are not easily approachable, can also be reached conveniently.
  • Uniformity in the data collection can be made.
The main demerits of this method can be listed as follows:
  • It cannot be used for illiterate or uneducated respondents.
  • Rate of non-response is high in comparatively with other method.
  • If there is any confusion in the questionnaire, they cannot be solved.
  • There is inbuilt inflexibility.
  • The control over questionnaire may be lost once it is sent.
  • It is difficult to verify the accuracy of the answers given.
  • This method is likely to be the slowest of all.
  • There is no scope for asking supplementary questions for cross checking of the information supplied by the respondents.
  • Informants are not willing to give written information in their own, handwriting as certain personal questions like income, property, personal habits and so on.
  • Many questionnaire returned may be incomplete, haphazard as well as inaccurate.
  • Pilot study is necessary in this method.