do the spadework

do the spadework

To do the necessary preparatory work or research to successfully complete a given task or objective. Likened to working the soil with a spade when preparing to plant something. If you are looking to start your own business, you have to be sure to do the spadework first. I was up all night doing the spadework for my first case as a lawyer.

do the spadework

Make the preliminary preparations or do the preliminary research for something. For example, The department head did all the spadework for this agreement. This expression transfers the heavy spading required to prepare for planting to other kinds of preparation. [c. 1900]
References in periodicals archive ?
Leaders of 27 countries, including a grandstanding David Cameron, failed to do the spadework before gathering in Brussels so they must now meet again next year.
Despite a funding setback,Jodie Mellor, an administrator at the arts and culture enterprise Metal, decided to develop the garden anyway and enlisted volunteers to do the spadework.
Finally, since he tells us of the work he has done with allotments, why did he leave Cllr Cox to do the spadework on this one?
negotiator on North Korea, will leave Washington for China on Sunday to do the spadework for the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday.