What can I get out of research that I don’t already know? What do you want to know? Do you know what you don’t know? It’s all in the specification

You can drive yourself to distraction by trying to work out how to guarantee that your research will be cost effective – and driving to distraction is not very cost effective in itself.

So be smart. Limit your research to particular areas or issues that you can identify where there is a gap in your knowledge. Your research might indicate that further research is necessary – but cross that bridge when you come to it.

Specify tightly and you will make sensible first steps.