Plan and prepare

Preparing a plan

When you are preparing your plan for conducting the case study think about the following:

  • Nature of the club or facility: What are the activities, users and members, key features of its success, history and what’s cutting edge?
  • Information needed: Be clear about the information that’s required and who will use the information. Having an audience in mind makes it easier to decide on the project scope and form of the final case study.

  • Information sources: Identify likely types of information you’ll need and who might have access to this.

  • Timeframe: You should look at collecting information at the time of year that the club or facility is most active so you can collect as much information as possible. It will also be easier at this time to locate and engage with the members, users and the local community.

When planning the timeframe THINK about the critical dates that you need to plan around? These will include:

  • when the main playing season or busy period is for the club or facility (it’s harder to contact people in the off-season)
  • when a key event might be occurring (anniversary, centennial, reunion)
  • when a major funding or sponsorship deadline might be
  • the AGM or annual report publication date.

Be patient and plan for it to take time. Volunteer availability will impact on your timetable.

How will you do it?

Usually a case study has several parts:

  • Find and read existing information — this could come from a range of sources including key contacts, feasibility studies, websites, media, proposals and applications, annual reports.
  • Identify the sources of information — make a list of who, what, where and how the research will (ideally) take place to get all the information you need.

Where will you get information?

The source of information depends on the type of information you need. The following table gives you some suggestions about what questions to ask and where to find the answers.

You may want to collect additional information outside of the interview format, or people may need to go and find extra material that’s not readily available.

The types of information best collected using email, documents or follow up discussions involve dates, numbers, names of key people, historical facts.

You may need to have specific meetings with club or facility administrators to review documents and historical files.

Some ways of collecting these are outlined in the table below.

    • History

    • Detail

      • How did this club/facility get to where it is today?
      • What are the main events, milestones or ways of working that have helped this club/facility be an asset to the community?
      • How did this happen (who/what were the catalysts/mechanisms)?
    • Sources

      • Annual Reports
      • Interviews
      • Research reports
      • Feasibility Studies
      • Evaluations and reviews
    • Vision

    • Detail

      • Where is it going?
      • Who or what is helping the club/facility to continue to be a benefit to your community?
      • What things need to happen for this club/facility to continue to be a benefit to (and have fewer downsides for) your community?
    • Sources

      • Strategic Plan
      • Funding Plan
      • Interviews
      • Focus groups
      • Website
    • Details

    • Detail

      • Contextual information (history, goals/plans)
      • Quantitative data (eg members/users, spectators, events/activities
      • Activity/usage levels
      • Volunteer hours, paid employee hours
      • Financial performance (income, expenditure).
    • Sources

      • Annual Report
      • Office Holder interview
      • Financial Reports
      • Website