Step 2: Plan the story collection and selection process Copy
How often should stories be collected?
Most applications of MSC are used for monitoring, and this involves a periodic collection of information, but how often this information is collected depends on the organisation. We have seen the frequency of story collection from fortnightly to yearly, with the most common being quarterly to coincide with quarterly reporting in many organisations. If the frequency is too low, you run the risk of staff and participants forgetting how the process works or why they are using it. This might take less time and resources, but it’s likely to take a while for the organisation to learn and fully benefit from MSC. If the frequency is too high, participants will learn quickly, but you may soon exhaust known cases of significant longer-term change and will need to focus on shorter-term significant changes that you can identify. Increased frequency also means increased cost and time.
How often should reporting be done?
You’ll need to make your own decision about what the appropriate reporting period is, for you, by balancing the costs and benefits and allowing for reporting gaps that may exist in your existing monitoring and evaluation processes.
In our experience, it works well to start MSC with regular reporting and decrease the frequency as the process continues. When you start, you may find that there is a backlog of significant change stories that people are keen to document. As you continue and these historical stories are collected, subsequent stories tend to refer to more recent events, and this change may be accompanied by a decrease in the number of available stories.