Specific Research

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Diving Into The Point Of Interest

Obstacle I: Finding research relevant to a policy business plan.

Once a specific problem is identified, there is a need to understand specifics of the problem such as costs, stakeholders, etc. Most importantly, the team must propose a policy to address the identified problem. For each of these steps, data must be gathered. Figuring out how to collect this data can be a major obstacle.

Possible Solutions:

  • Initially, dividing research into particular aspects of the problem (costs, stakeholders, etc.) and splitting up the sections between team members allows each person to specialize in a particular area of data collection. However, in splitting the research into subtopics, a group runs the risk research into diverging areas. Therefore, in order for this strategy to be effective, constant communication must be maintained throughout the research process.
  • Use the Short-Form Policy Business Plan Template as a guide for the types of specific questions research should address.
  • The resources listed in the General Research section are directly applicable to this section as well.
  • In order to collect and conglomerate work, using GoogleDocs is extremely useful. However, copying massive amounts of texts, or untitled links to the shared document will not benefit the other group members. It is helpful to take 1-5 line excerpts from the article of interest, and then attach the link below.

Obstacle II: Refocusing research after feedback.

After someone receiving feedback about our group’s research, we discovered that our work was too policy orientated. We needed to more heavily address the entrepreneurial element, which called for re-directing our focus.

Possible Solutions II:

  • When feedback is given, ensure to take careful notes so that it can be incorporated into you’re the final product. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding the feedback.
  • After feedback, review the work plan and figure out what must be changed in order to accommodate the feedback.
  • Research following feedback must be a priority. Most likely, the research up until the feedback was given was slightly off point. The research following the feedback will likely open up many unforeseen directions.

Obstacle III:

Attempts to find data on a particular aspect of a problem, such as costs and benefits, yields little data or no data at all.

Possible Solutions III:

  • If proper time has been allocated to research, and all reasonable resources have been exhausted, a lack of data is a form of data in-and-of-itself, and therefore, an opportunity. A lack of sufficient research and information on a topic is indicative that there is a gap in existing knowledge. This may suggest that your proposed policy is highly innovative!
  • Search for data in analogous situations, in other industries, or in other countries. For example, when our research into the direct effects of establishing Electronic Medical Record standards did not yield any results, we were able to find an analogy to when the EPA set technology, rather than performance, standards under the Clean Air Act.


  1. This is the most time-consuming aspect and the most difficult part of writing a Short-Form Policy Business Plan. To make it easier, let those who have a vision within the group focus on the area that is their main interest and then come together and consolidate the knowledge.
  2. Never forget that entrepreneurs are the target beneficiaries of the policy. Make sure not to get lost in the concerns around the policy, and forget whom it is ultimately trying to affect.