DevCSI Stakeholder Report: Methodology
Evidence Base Research and Evaluation Services at Birmingham City University were commissioned to complete the stakeholder analysis work, which included an initial analysis of the assumptions followed by stakeholder interviews and a stakeholder survey to get opinions from a range of different stakeholders on the assumptions.
Analysis of assumptions
Through discussions with the DevCSI project manager, Mahendra Mahey, and analysis of the initial stakeholder work (completed by Mahendra Mahey and Paul Walk), it was clear that certain themes emerged from the assumptions made across stakeholder groups.
These themes were:
- Adding value and fostering innovation
- Training and development opportunities for developers
- The benefits of a developer community
There were also some areas of specific relevance to particular stakeholder groups; outsourcing for senior managers; opening up source code for vendors; and informing future directions for funders.
In order to test the assumptions and begin development of a wider questionnaire, key stakeholders were invited to be interviewed on the key themes we had identified. Representatives from a variety of different stakeholder groups were approached, with a total of 14 telephone interviews held:
- Developer focus group (part of DevCSI planning) – 4 interviews
- Developers – 2 interviews
- Funders – 1 interview
- Senior IT managers – 1 interview
- Users (academics/librarians/researchers) – 4 interviews
- Vendors – 2 interviews
Each stakeholder group had a standard set of questions (some of which were presented to all groups, others specific to a particular group). See the appendices for the interview structure. The interviews were transcribed and analysed and informed development of the survey as well as adding qualitative data to the analysis.
An online survey was chosen as the main methodology in the stakeholder analysis. This enabled us to reach a wide cross section of participants in a relatively short space of time. SurveyMonkey was used to manage the survey, enabling routing of the survey to direct respondents to particular questions relevant to them (see Appendix H for the full survey). The email invite system within SurveyMonkey was also used to handle invites – this was used to track responses whilst the survey was open, and send personalised invitations. An optional prize draw was given as an incentive to participate, with a prize of a £50 Amazon voucher. The survey was sent to 3361 contacts in total (list provided by Mahendra Mahey) and a link to the survey publicised on the DevCSI blog and on mailing lists. 481 responded to the survey, with 257 respondents completing the whole survey (148 of whom chose to enter the prize draw).
A breakdown of respondents by self-assigned stakeholder group was as follows:
- 154 developers
- 151 users (academics, researchers, librarians)
- 96 senior managers
- 61 managers of developers
- 13 funders
- 6 vendors
The response to the survey was much higher than anticipated, demonstrating interest in this area.