A focused workshop is a small group of participants –preferable between five to ten participants. The
participants are led through an open discussion by a moderator, which is assisted by a note taker. Focused
workshops require several representative users, because you need a flowing discussion and various
perspectives. The workshop typically lasts from 90 minutes to a couple of hours.
The group interaction is a double edged sword, meaning that ideas can be bounced around and developed in during the workshops, leading to the creation of new ideas. It also means that the data collected are not always totally reliable, since one dominant person in the group can influence what everyone else thinks.
The workshop should address a specific topic. The selection of the topic should lead to the workshop’s
The objectives will determine the scope of the workshop and should deal with those areas that are pertinent
to the achievement of the workshop objectives
A rule of thumb is that you will have time for no more than four or five key questions in a focused workshop lasting 1.5 to 2 hours.
The questions should be:
Short and to the point
Focused on one dimension each
Open-ended or sentence completion types
Worded in a way that they cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” (use “why” and “how” questions to prevent this)
The moderator facilitates the discussion; the note taker takes notes and runs the recorder. Both moderator and note taker are expected to welcome participants, offer
them refreshments, help them make their name tags, and direct them in completing pre-group paperwork.
Moderator: The moderator runs the workshop, secures that the agenda and time plan is followed, ensures that all group members contribute to the discussion and
avoids letting one participant's opinions dominate the group.
The characteristics of participants will influence the structure, content and activities undertaken in a focused workshop.
Some key questions to be taken into consideration when identifying target participants are:
What are the size and the composition of the group? (If it is possible to choose group size go for between five to ten participants).
What are the working background and experience of the participants? What are their experiences with our devices? (e.g. first time users, service technicians).
Are there dependences between the participants? (If possible avoid boss/employee relationships).
What is the best way to get the message across? (e.g. difference if it is nurses vs. service technicians)
The type of workshop being presented will influence the room(s) that is chosen. The facilities of the room should be able to comfortably accommodate the participants while taking into consideration the needs of the moderator.
Points to consider:
Lighting and Acoustics
Make an agenda and determine:
Equipment needs (posters, prototype etc.)
Handouts and other learning material for participants
Breaks (good for transition to another topic)
The following should be considered:
ESeating arrangements (preferable circle/round a table)
All resources required for the seminar are acquired or sourced at this stage.
Software – Microsoft PowerPoint
Stationery – markers, pens, notepads (workshop toolbox is located at TINAPs desk)