Association for Project Management (APM)

Investigating communities of interest

The brief

As part of their ongoing membership research, APM commissioned Shift to investigate what their current members, as well as the wider project community, wanted and expected of a chartered professional body in terms of its communities of interest.

They wanted a comprehensive piece of research that would give them insight into what other organisations were doing, where APM’s strengths lay and where they could develop their current offer.

Our approach and methodology

We conducted an initial stage of competitor desk research to gain insight into how other professional bodies organised their communities of interest. We bolstered these findings through depth interviews with representatives from 4 of these organisations.

We completed 40 x 40-minute telephone interviews with APM members across a range of membership types, alongside non-APM members and representatives of their Volunteer Steering Group.

Finally, we sent out an esurvey which was designed based on interview findings in order to quantify our results. This was a complex survey that allowed us to test several different hypotheses about preferences around communities of interest by randomly directing respondents to different questions in the survey to ensure we collected data on many different aspects of the research without causing respondent fatigue.

Through conducting these research phases we were able to create a cohesive and rich narrative of APM’s audience’s preferences around communities.

Delivering results and value to our client

We kept APM updated on our findings throughout – delivering an interim report of the desk research and telephone interviews before the survey stage.

We also provided an insight into the quantitative stage ahead of the full report so APM could get an idea of the results before we started our analysis.

This culminated in a full report and senior management team presentation combining all three research stages, and making recommendations for adapting their communities of interest based on member feedback.