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Table 6 Illustrative quotes from participants in monthly calls and year 1 in-person project meeting

From: Is this study feasible? Facilitating management of pragmatic trial planning milestones under a phased award funding mechanism

Theme Comment
Value of oversight (planning phase) “… this process is very helpful. It’s making us think more carefully about our work … and think about the big picture and where we might be weak.”
“If you were just to dive into a busy clinical trial, I think you would cut corners and miss some of those important questions.”
“… it paid off in being confident that we could do these things for the long term … we felt comfortable proceeding with the next iteration.”
“You’re highly motivated and incentivized to hit those milestones because you know this is a go/no-go. And some of them you have anxiety about because they’re beyond your control.”
“We had in mind that there were very specific milestones and the evaluation on a monthly basis was helping to keeping [sic] us on track.”
“I like the planning year. It gave us more time to devote to having a good plan, which ultimately saves time down the road.”
“The project management aspect that Westat provided was useful … in that way a best practice of research management.”
Positive aspects of pressure to meet milestones “It helped me in terms of my subcontract sites and my IT.”
“When we showed [stakeholders] we were falling off track in any of these areas, it very much focuses us on working on that problem specifically.”
“It makes you get started right away, which is a good thing.”
“I met with my stakeholders and got their commitment; that was part of the planning year but it wasn’t [directly] for patient recruitment.”
“We were working with a system we hadn’t worked with before that didn’t have much research infrastructure … it was relationship building with the leaders and the informatics team …”
“… helpful to align institutional leadership.”
Phased award mechanism “… even though I know I hit all of the milestones, this was a new mechanism for me [so I didn’t necessarily have confidence re: implementation funds].”
“This is new for many of us … and it sounds like it actually may be relatively new for some of the agencies as well.”
“One of the things I would include would be budgeting [such that] the pilot year could really be a year. Truncating that does apply more pressure.”
“… [helpful to] work with the program official [if] milestones are a bit overly ambitious [for the planning year].”