Roles in the Process
- Facilitator – the person who leads each focus group.
- Recorder – the person who assists the facilitator in each focus group, capturing a detailed account of participant input.
- Data Analyst – the person who uses the recorder’s notes to conduct qualitative analysis of the focus group data.
- Report Writer – the person(s) who draft(s) the executive summary of the results of the focus groups.
- Scheduler – the person who schedules the focus groups.
- Manager of Logistics – the person who manages all the room arrangements, etc.
- A person can play multiple roles in the process.
- More than one person can play a role (such as a writing team who prepares the report).
Skill Set by Role
- The ability to effectively facilitate a small group of 8 to 12 participants
- A good listener with the ability to ask good follow-up questions
- A good listener with the ability to capture the essence of what people say and capture it in writing
- Good writing and editing skills to be able to produce an effective summary of each session
- The ability to conduct qualitative analysis on extensive written input, including:
- Developing a comprehensive summary of all focus group input
- Organizing the information into themes of related items
- Naming the themes in a way that captures their essence
- Providing an effective comprehensive summary to the Report Writer
- The ability to use the comprehensive summary as the basis for creating an effective Executive Summary
- The ability to carry out all aspects of inviting people to participate in the process and confirming their participation, including:
- Getting availability from the Facilitators and Recorders
- Issuing letters of invitation to participants
- Receiving/initiating follow-up calls to confirm participation
- Sending confirmation letters to participants with questions to think about in advance of the focus group
- Providing the Facilitator and Recorder with information about who will be attending each session
- Providing the Manager of Logistics with information on each session and the required logistics for it
Manager of Logistics
- Scheduling the meeting rooms and other requirements needed for each focus group, including refreshments if they are provided
- Ensuring the room set up and other logistics are planned and effectively carried out
- Providing any pre-session help the Facilitator and Recorder might need
- Providing any logistical follow-up for each session