Focus group is a type of brainstorming activity that fosters diversity and creativity while revolving (focusing) on a predefined theme. It is traditionally used as a market research tool to understand how customers will react to a new offering, but it can also be used in any circumstance where diversity and creativity are high priorities. In short, a focus group consists in selecting a diverse set of participants and implementing a process that prevents conformity and oblige each participant to develop and express his/her own independent opinions.
- Gather a small group (5-10) of people with diverse background, such as different education/income levels or nationality
- Present the entire set of questions/assertions around the theme that will be addressed
- Coordinate a first round table based on a simple rating system, such that each respondent develops an opinion and commit to it, but does not express it and thus does not influence others
- Coordinate a second round table with a particular focus on questions/assertions that created the most diverse answers, and invite each participant to express the rational behind its rating
- Now that diversity has been fostered, coordinate a discussion based on mutual feedbacks that aims at building consensus and efficient decision-making