Within the field of qualitative research, we undertake all manner of group work, such as focus groups and Delphi groups.
Perhaps the most widely used (and misused) research technique, focus groups enable a small group of individuals to “focus” on a specific issue, initiative or product. Skilled facilitators are then able to elicit insights and views that can be used to mould and shape implementation.
The secret of valuable focus group work is in the skill of the facilitator(s). As with all research, a badly executed focus group will be a waste of money and time. Participants need to be carefully selected for their breadth of experience and for their ability to think objectively. It is absolutely vital that they be strongly connected to the issues or to the use of the initiatives and products in question.
Pye Tait usually records the events for further and deeper analysis.
Should focus groups be required with young people, all our field research staff hold enhanced DBS certification and Pye Tait Consulting is a member of SAFEcic, safeguarding specialists.
Delphi Groups are about the future. Careful construction and management enables such groups to transform the expertise and views of a panel of selected experts in their field into a consensus on how given initiatives or policies will unfold and what their impact will be.
This technique is a particularly useful tool for creating a valuable picture of future issues, and developing scenarios for policy testing.
Delphi exercises are most effectively implemented in small, very carefully balanced group meetings but they can also be facilitated electronically. Pye Tait usually records the events for further and deeper analysis.