Design Firm: Real Information, Real Fast


A fast-growing design firm with 22 offices in eight states was in the middle of a strategic planning effort.


Just 10 days before a major company-wide planning session, management wanted to get employee feedback about the company's future. CFM proposed an Internet survey that gave each of the firm's 750 employees a chance to comment.


While online research isn't perfect for all situations, it works great for defined audiences that have access to computers or touch-tone telephones. CFM met with the firm's leadership for two hours, wrote a draft questionnaire, the client approved it the next day and the survey was posted within three days. The survey was easy to access, as every employee received an e-mail with a Web address and a personal identification number to ensure privacy and prevent multiple responses.


In the first 24 hours, more than 50 percent of the employees responded. When the survey closed after four days, more than 80 percent of the workforce had offered its views. The information was analyzed and used in a PowerPoint presentation developed by CFM, which also facilitated the strategic planning session. From start to finish, the entire project spanned 10 working days.