Teams can act as a focus group. If you want to know how the team feels about a certain issue, you can ask some specific questions about the topic. To get a feel for how all teams in the organization stand on some future action or planned strategy, you can facilitate a focus group.
WHAT CAN A FOCUS GROUP TELL YOU?
- Assessment of existing programs
- How to develop strategies for outreach
- Insight into why certain opinions are held
- Ideas to improve the planning and design of new programs
- Information on how groups of people think or feelabout a topic
Focus groups take advantage of group interactions and thoughts, it is important to use the information at the group level, not the individual level. Focus groups are usually made up of a very small number of people who voluntarily participate. Their views and perceptions might not represent those of other groups with slightly different characteristics.
Focus groups allow stakeholders to provide feedback on a particular topic. The information from a focus group session is rich in detail, substance, and variety. A question is asked and focus group members provide a response. It is an open-ended conversation that requires analysis of results to accurately determine themes derived from the conversation.
FOCUS GROUP CONSIDERATIONS
- Determine the outcome intended once the information is gathered from a focus group(s)
- Identify appropriate stakeholders to invite, based on the intended outcome
- Be certain the information gathered from the sessions will be used
Focus groups are often used as part of a strategic planning process or the introduction of a new product or service. Much planning is required to have a successful focus group that yields information needed. The composition of the group and the number of groups is important to achieving the intended outcome. Also, a good facilitator is needed to lead the groups and then to analyze the information gathered from all focus group participants.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE A FOCUS GROUP
- What is the question that needs a focus group response?
- Is a focus group the best method for getting the information?
- How will the information be used?
- What stakeholder groups will be included and why?
- Who should facilitate the group(s)?
- What information does the facilitator need to be successful?
- How will you share the results from the focus groups?
FOCUS GROUPS IN 6 STEPS
Determine what information is needed from the focus group.
- This is what the team needs to know to increase performance, increase the opportunity for success, and provide a context for understanding specific details.
- The qualitative results will be part of a continuum of understanding.