A tool to make Randomised Coffee Trial a bit easier to run…

Having gained inspiration (and having ‘pinched with pride’) the idea of the Randomised Coffee Trial as discussed in these FAB Shares from 2017 & 2018, our Trust has completed a similar scheme 3 times in total now to great success.

In the most recent run-through I was given the task of creating a bit more of an automated approach to the whole thing. Rather than manually collating names and matching using Post-It notes and then having to send out 50+ sets of e-mails to the matched pairs, I knew there had to be a bit of an easier way.

I built a little tool within Excel that, when fed with names and other relevant information about our willing participants, would generate the appropriate number of matched pairs of people. This matching process could then be re-run several times until a suitable set of matches (geographically but also trying to keep close friends apart, as the idea is for people to break new ground and meet new people) was found.

Having used this tool for our specific RCT 2019  I’ve now developed a template that I’m happy for anyone and everyone to make use of. In essence, if you complete the table found on the ‘Names List’ tab with the appropriate information and then click the blue button once you’ve gathered all names, then that starts the matching process.

You’re then taken to the ‘Variable’ tab, where you can see the first set of randomised matches and check for suitability. If you’re not happy with those initial matches, then clicking the yellow button will ‘re-roll’ the proverbial dice and start matching people afresh. You can continue to click this button until satisfied with the matches found. Upon reaching this point, clicking the green button will ‘fix’ the matches and move them to the ‘Matched Names’ tab.

This final tab can then be used to complete things like e-mail merges and keeps a clear record of the pairs selected. 

You can download the Randomised Coffee Trial Template HERE

Although I tend to be a little on the reserved side, I signed up for our RCT back in 2018 and found it great. 

As such it’s been nice to be more involved in the process of it all this time around, and I’m pleased that I’ve got the opportunity to be able to share this little tool with you all. If anyone does have any questions around how it works or has any issues, then people drop me an e-mail to [email protected].

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