Studies of information systems (IS) often involve many complexities, uncertainties and restrictions. As a result, researchers have to adopt innovative research approaches or tailor and extend existing ones. This paper describes and evaluates an innovative focus group approach used to study three IS development teams, which had to cope with the application of a broad, polymorphous framework, untested in practice, seeking to elicit potentially highly sensitive opinions and judgements in a highly pressurised, time-restricted environment. This paper makes two significant contributions. To conduct this evaluation, the researchers operationalised the Klein & Myers seven principles for interpretive study for the first time, creating a set of questions that other IS researchers can now use to evaluate their own interpretive studies. The paper also applies these to the design of the focus groups and develops a set of recommendations for future IS researchers to consider based on lessons learned in this study.