In PMBOK guide 5th Edition, tools and techniques for "Collect requirements" process includes Focused group and Facilitated workshops.

But their description in PMBOK guide 5th Edition to me looks similar. It says participation of stakeholders and subject matter experts to learn about their expectations and attitudes about a proposed product, service, or result.

Practically, What are the major differences between Focused group and Facilitated workshops?

1 Answer 1


As a caveat to my answer here, I do not know what PMI's intent was when differentiating between a focus group and a facilitated workshop. One definition I read was that a focus group was a gathering of SMEs to discuss a single functional area while a facilitated workshop is a gathering of SMEs to discuss cross functional areas. I don't think this definition adds a lot of value.

In my view, a focus group is a type of facilitated workshop. A JAD session is another. A risk identification meeting might be another. I'd use the term focus group for a type of meeting where I am testing a particular hypothesis or hypotheses, a type of session to create a product of deduction. Whereas another type of facilitated workshop is more a process of induction, where I am producing hypotheses for future work.

For example, in a standard risk meeting, the team would be escalating their identified threats for future analysis and mitigating efforts. In a focused risk meeting, the team might be analyzing a specific risk or set of risks facing their environment to validate the threats and identify next set of actions.

  • the 1st paragraph definition is what I too read in blogs and on internet. Just wonder if PMI specific nomenclatures is followed in real world project for this case. Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 15:52

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