Annex F

IFORS Global Survey of OR Practice
Progress Report 2010

Survey Work
In 2009 an initial questionnaire was designed and sent to all IFORS Country Representatives, with the aim of testing the viability of the full survey. Thirty four responses were received (out of 49) and whilst knowledge of OR practice was low in many countries, it was agreed that the full survey should go ahead. Some helpful feedback for designing and promoting the full survey was also received. A report on the initial survey was produced in March 2010 (1).
The design of the main questionnaire was completed early in the year and then piloted with three country Representatives, which resulted in some minor changes. Although there was a case for having two versions, one for mature OR practice communities and one for less mature ones, we concluded that having a single questionnaire would on balance be preferable and would aid analysis. The main questionnaire circulated to IFORS Representatives in April 2010, for them to pass on to known practitioners in their country. The initial deadline for responses was July. Various follow up actions were carried out with the aim of increasing the response rate, including targeting specific individuals by email and via an article in the IFORS Newsletter (2). The deadline was eventually extended to November, by which time a final total of 254 responses had been received.
Analysis of the responses commenced immediately after the initial deadline had passed but some analyses had to be repeated as the deadline was extended and further responses were received. Final analysis commenced in December.

Associated Activities
A good response was received from the UK, thanks to the support of the OR Society and it’s Heads of OR (OR Managers) Forum (HORF). The survey was promoted with an article in OR Inside – the online and printed Newsletter for ORS members – in April. Detailed analysis of the 81 (usable) responses was carried out in August and the results were presented at OR52, the OR Society’s national conference, in September.
A further presentation was given to HORF in November. Helpful feedback for the final analysis of the global responses was obtained.

The estimated analytical support requirement was found to be too low and an extension was requested and agreed. £1000 has been claimed and £1000 remains in the budget. The lead researcher made two trips to Lancaster at £60 each time (yet to be claimed).

Remaining Actions and Timescale
Full analysis of the responses will be completed in 2011 and a selection of the results will be presented at the IFORS conference. Additional presentations from country/region Representatives will be sought. The presentations and discussions will be reported. A final report on the results of the survey will be produced (October?) and a paper for publication in ITORS will be written (target completion date March 2012).

JC Ranyard 11th March 2011

1. Response to the Initial Questionnaire, JC Ranyard, March 2010
2. IFORS SURVEY OF OR PRACTICE – Update for IFORS Newsletter, Sept 2010
3. New Survey of OR Practice Around the World, OR Inside, April 2010

Dr. John C. Ranyard

John Ranyard

John Ranyard is a Senior Research Fellow at the Management Science Department at Lancaster University and previously an OR manager in British Coal. You may reach him at


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