What is Facilitation and Why Should You Care?
Facilitation is defined as “the act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something.” A facilitator is one who assists in making progress easier. Facilitators are critical to the success of process improvement and other teams. They can assist the team in developing their mission, vision and objectives and also in developing an effective strategy for meeting these objectives. Facilitators also help the team deal with conflict, reach consensus and get the through the “Forming”, “Storming”, “Norming” and “Performing” phases of team development.
How Facilitation Helps…
According to Facilitation at a Glance by Ingrid Bens, M. ED, here are some of the key ways a facilitator can provide assistance:
- Helping the group define its overall goal, as well as its specific objectives
- Helping members assess their needs and create plans to meet them
- Providing processes that help members use their time efficiently to make high-quality decisions
- Guiding group discussion to keep it on track
- Making accurate notes that reflect the ideas of members
- Helping the group understand its own processes in order to work more effectively
- Making sure that assumptions are surfaced and tested
- Supporting members in assessing their current skills, as well as building new skills
- Using consensus to help a group make decisions that take all members’ opinions into account
- Supporting members in managing their own interpersonal dynamics
Practical Real-world Use of Facilitators:
To assist with developing a vision, mission and scope of your process or business
To assist in developing the business plans, goals, objectives and strategies
To assist in leading a Strategic Plan
or a Strategic Enterprise Analysis
To lead the design of a new process or system (i.e. Joint Application Development (JAD))
To lead a company’s town hall, team building, convention or other types of group sessions (i.e. focus groups, Agile, Scrum)
To assist with executive & management training or meetings
To train your staff in the art of facilitation (knowledge transfer)
- A very popular use of a facilitator is in leading a business process redesign:
- review the current process
- identify the key problems
- prioritize the issues
- analyze the current process
- determine the root causes
- brainstorm solutions
- map the future process
- develop an action plan
- implement the solutions
In our classes and workshops, we introduce you to many fun, yet useful facilitative techniques such as:
3. Focus Group
4. Joint Application Development (JAD)
5. Gap Analysis
6. Root-Cause Analysis
7. Force Field Analysis
9. Criteria-Based Grid
10. Impact / Effort Grid
We help you sharpen and significantly improve your application of needed facilitative practices such as:
1. Active listening
2. Generating participation
6. Using Flip Charts
7. Maintaining Focus
10. Synthesizing ideas
12. Handling Conflict
How CPS’ Facilitative Services can help you:
Our professional, certified and qualified consultants can provide expert facilitation of any of the types of sessions mentioned above.
Facilitation Boot-camp / Certification
We design fun, but very comprehensive workshops to teach you everything you need to not only be successful, but to master the art of facilitation. We focus on all the practices and techniques mentioned above, as well as:
- Pre-session planning
- Pre-session preparation
- Conducting a sponsor’s meeting
- Creating the facilitator’s scenarios
- Problem solving and any other tools
- Developing a “Plan A, B, and C”!
- Our Top 25 Tips for Guaranteed Facilitative Success!
Facilitation Classes – Our facilitation classes vary from 2 days, introducing the fundamentals of facilitation (Facilitation Techniques for Requirements Development) to 4 days, combining requirements elicitation and process / workflow modeling with facilitation.
We can develop and customize client-specific facilitative sessions based on any of the scenarios mentioned above or per your request.
Please contact us at (248) 352-9917 to learn more about our popular facilitation services and classes.