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Do you need to use a focus group?

___You're considering the introduction of a new program or service

___Your main concern is with depth or shading of opinion, rather than simply with whether people agree

___You want to ask questions that can't be easily asked or answered on a written survey

___You want to supplement the knowledge you have gotten from written surveys

___You know or can find someone who is an experienced and skilled group leader

___You have the time, knowledge, and resources to recruit a willing group of focus group participants

Before you begin:

___Recheck your goals

___Consider other methods

___Find a good leader

___Find a recorder

___Decide who should be invited

___Decide about incentives

___Decide on meeting particulars (day, place, time, length of meeting, how many groups)

___Prepare your questions

___Recruit your members

___Double-check the arrangements

When the group meets:

___Thank people for coming

___Review the purpose of the group and goals of the meeting

___Explain how the meeting will proceed and how members can contribute

___Set ground rules

___Encourage open participation

___Set the tone by asking an opening question and making sure all opinions on that question are heard

___Ask further questions in the same general manner

___When all your questions have been asked, ask if anyone has any other comments to make

___Tell the group about any next steps that will occur and what they can expect to happen now

___Thank the group for coming!

After the meeting:

___Make a transcript or written summary of the meeting

___Examine the data for patterns, themes, new questions, and conclusions

___Share the results with the group

___Use the results

Bill Berkowitz