Focus groups are a means of giving the buildings users a formal voice and position in the project. Focus groups can be asked to provide input for the brief and to review the contents of briefing documents from a user perspective. In contrast to the work groups, focus groups are made up of laypersons. This means that it is important that the groups sessions are facilitated by a skilled moderator. Furthermore, it will useful to give the members of a focus group a crash course on briefing before they start. This might include project visits, background reading and presentations from experts to increase their knowledge, thus, helping them to come up with better input and feedback to the brief.To avoid misunderstandings, it will be important to emphasize at the start of the project that the focus group will not have any formal decision-making powers. They have an advisory role and/or act like a test panel. They can respond to the brief and come up with suggestions and ideas, but it is up to the steering committee to decide what to do with this input. That makes it sound as if focus groups have a very limited role, but in reality they can wield quite a lot of soft power. Focus groups are in a good position to appeal and lobby for certain features and they can push the project team to substantiate the decisions they makesomething from which the project can only benefit. Usually, the members of a focus group are selected from a cross section of the organization, based on the idea that focus groups should represent the average user. An alternative approach, however, is to aim for so called lead users. Lead users are users who are a step ahead of the others, for example in terms of the use of new technologies or new work practices. It is an interesting group because it is more likely to come up with new ideas and it can be argued that it represents the future users of the building.Combining both kinds of users is obviously also possible. A group size of 10 to 15 persons will usually be sufficient for a focus group. Such a group is large enough to incorporate different voices and small enough for the informal exchange of ideas.Responsibilities-Providing input for the brief from a user perspective.-Reviewing and commenting on briefing documents and design proposals.Members-A cross section of different kinds of users and/or a group of lead users.Recommendations-Consider setting up multiple focus groups in large projects, representing different kinds of users. -Limit the amount of time people must spend participating in the focus group. Their involvement usually comes on top of their normal workload.-Include not only enthusiasts, but also scepticsalthough all participants should have a constructive attitude.-Provide proper facilitation and training of the focus group.-Make sure that the group is not dominated by a few loud voices. Every participant should be able to voice their ideas.