Sample planning refers to a detailed outline of measurements to be taken:
At what time - Decide the time when a survey is to be conducted. For example, taking people views on newspaper outreach before launch of a new newspaper in the area.
On Which material - Decide the material on which the survey is to be conducted. It could be a online poll or paper based checklist.
In what manner - Decide the sampling methods which will be used to choose people on whom the survey is to be conducted.
By whom - Decide the person(s) who has to collect the observations.
Sampling plans should be prepared in such a way that the result correctly represent the representative sample of interest and allows all questions to be answered.
Following are the steps involved in sample planning.
Identification of parameters - Identify the attributes/ parameters to be measured. Identify the ranges, possible values and required resolution.
Choose Sampling Method - Choose a sampling method with details like how and when samples are to be identified.
Select Sample Size - Select an appropriate sample size to represent the population correctly. Large samples are generally proner to invalid conclusion.
Select storage formats - Choose a data storage format in which the sampled data is to be kept.
Assign Roles - Assign roles and responsibilities to each person involved in collecting, processing, statistically testing steps.
Verify and execute - Sampling plan should be verifiable. Once verified, pass it to related parties to execute it.