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Information Broker

Tool: Focus group

Typical use (type of issue/project)

If a focus group has been identified as the best forum for discussing your project, you and your team can use the following checklist to ensure that you have satisfied all the necessary requirements for a successful focus group session.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself and your team.

Tips for effective use

Completing the checklist when preparing for a focus group, and then during the session, using the checklist to ensure all important issues are covered.

Signals of successful use

Having a well managed focus group which is productive and proactive.

Signals of unsuccessful use

Failing to manage an effective focus group and losing out on an important interface with your business unit.

Links to other tools

Brainstorming and Project communication


Focus group

Fill in the status column to detail current progress, and use the next steps column to outline the steps required to complete the task.

This table is also available as a PDF file or Word document.

Requirement Status* Next steps
Meeting preparation
Research prospective topic, including individuals that should be invited    
Invite key stakeholders, including external expertise, if appropriate, ensuring that panel is representative of the groups involved    
Prepare meeting agenda, and circulate to key stakeholders for sign-off    
Pre-wire attendees to inform them of session objectives, and pre-reading or information that they need to bring with them    
Book appropriate venue, allowing for transport access for all    
Arrange a convenient time that all can attend (consider a brown bag session with lunch provided to improve attendance)    
Prepare welcome packs for attendees, outlining session’s objectives, ground rules, and any pre-reading that they need to do    
Prepare room in advance of group session, with agenda, objectives, and ground rules within view of attendees    
Provide circular seating – this allows for an engaging debate    
Meeting follow up
Prepare minutes to distribute to focus group attendees    
Pull-up with senior stakeholders to discuss outcomes and key findings of focus group session    
Develop next steps/action items from the session and assign owners to those actions    
Analyse key success factors and challenges of focus group session and prepare to implement for next time    

* Key: Y = completed, N = not completed, P = partially completed