Test: Testing guidelines and tools in a Family of Projects
After the guidelines and tools are developed, they will be tested in the test beds of the Family of Projects. Therefore, in WP 5, the S3C research team will assist the responsible actors in each active pilot in applying the recommendations provided by the S3C project, in order to test their efficacy and effectiveness. The goal is to apply the S3C tools and guidelines in 15 practical tests, in order to gain substantial knowledge on the effects of the research. The potential pilot regions will be investigated early in the project and addressed as soon as possible in order to enable smooth decision-making processes. Test sites and partners who want to test the means outlined in the guideline have been selected and engaged in WP 2. For every pilot, an onsite 2-day workshop with representatives of the pilot consortium and representatives of the S3C consortium will help to identify concrete potentials for the application of S3C tools. This close cooperation of the guidelines developers and the practitioners will ensure that actions with high risk to fail are more likely to be identified, and will be either eliminated or modified early in the project development process, thus maximising the learning effect and minimising risks.
Besides for the investigation of effects on the consumers' behaviour, the results of the validation in WP 5 will be used, whenever possible, to assess the impact of the selected user-interaction schemes on the overall system. Results from the tests in WP 5 will be used to improve the guidelines and tools in WP 4. Therefore, a formal audit process will be installed, in order to detect deficiencies of guidelines and tools in practice.
Eventually, the research team will prepare recommendations for policy makers, regulatory bodies and standardisation authorities and a revised set of tools and guidelines. The limited number of pilot tests is not likely to yield unequivocal results as to whether a particular intervention or involvement strategy based upon a particular program theory would be successful in a full-scale program. However, such pilot tests are particularly valuable for uncovering flaws in theory and approach. On the basis of the detailed project works and experiences, final recommendations will be formulated to improve effectiveness and efficiency of user interaction instruments in the growing Family of Projects.