Focus Groups

  • Purpose
    • Elicit ideas and attitudes about a product, service or opportunity specific in interactive group, sharing impressions, preferences and needs
  • Description
    • Similar to brainstorming, more structured, with less breadth, creativity and exaggerations
    • Meeting in the same room or remotely
    • Sharing and re-evaluation of prospects
    • Moderator manages the work, facilitates the session, produces the report
    • Observer records or monitors the group, without participation
    • Results are analyzed and reported as themes
    • Medium used during any stage of the cycle
      • Product Development – Update of the REQ
      • Product in production – Reviews for the next delivery
  • Elements
    1. Preparation
      • Participants
        • 6 to 12 participants (can be extended), varies with the topic
        • Composition
          • Homogeneous – Similar features, different perspectives are not shared
          • Heterogeneous – Different historical and perspectives, self-censorship because of discomfort
      • Moderator and recorder
        • Promote discussion, open-ended questions, group interaction, keeping focus, neutral, adaptable and flexible
      • Discussion Guide
        • Goals/Objectives of the session (5, 6 open questions)
      • Local and Services
        • Local, support, equipments for the session
    2. Conduct focus group session
      • Moderator guides the discussion 1-2 hours by a pre-planned scrip (transparent), to ensure reaching goals
      • Recorder captures the group’s comments
    3. Produce the report
      • Moderator analyzes and documents the areas of agreement or not between the participants and synthesizes on themes
  • Usage considerations
    1. Advantages – Elicit group data in a single session sabes time and cost, to understand attitudes, experiences and desires, active discussion (personal vision and perspective)
    2. Disadvantages – Distrust and indisposition about sensitive topics, difficulty in scheduling the group, doen’t help the elicitation of ideias about a new product

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