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Focus Question Design
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Focus Quesion Design Technique
A Focus question is the aiming mechanism for an idea processing session in an on-purpose meeting. It creates a structure for purposeful thinking! A well-designed focus question will:
  • establish a useful “boundary” to frame the thinking process around a manageable range of ideas;
  • provide a common purpose and direction for the team’s thinking process, and
  • will convey a sense of urgency for how emerging ideas are to be acted upon.
An example of a Focus Question is: “Considering the current state of our industry, what are the critical issues or concerns which must be addressed successfully to achieve our growth goals for next three years?” We suggest that all focus sessions be written down, and put in clear view of all meeting participants. This way, the meeting leader can always keep the group from straying off purpose, and bring them back to the topic at hand.

We believe that there are five main components of a focus question. They are
  1. The situational condition(s)
  2. The idea type(s)
  3. The urgency of the situation(s)
  4. How the ideas are to be used, and
  5. For what purpose
This pdf Technique document provides template for Focus Question Design by offering an extensive table with appropriate words or phrases for each of the five question components.