Facilitation – some tips
January 29, 2010
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For now I have decided to blog about an area I find very interesting and crucial to my new job title of ScrumMaster – and that is Facilitation.
The book summarizes it beautifully and gives some tips as follows:
What does Facilitation actually mean?
Providing a process and structure to help a group think and solve problems together.
You are responsible for the process NOT the outcome
1. Make sure the meeting has a goal
Help the group identify the steps needed to reach the goal, and how to accomplish each step.
2. Generate and integrate goals
- Brainstorm. Write down all ideas (no discussing until done) , build on others ides, nothing is too wild or too silly. Set a time limit, allow time at end for questions to clarify, prioritize list of ideas in order of usefulness.
- Silent brainstorming. Each person jots down ideas (10). Form pairs and discuss – identify best ideas. Put up on board. Set time limit.
- Affinity grouping. Group ideas from above together – name these groups
3. Evaluate options
Write down and post key ideas of each option. Review and allow time for clarifying questions. Evaluate each on its own before comparing options. 3 columns: pros, cons, interesting. Move on to next option.
4. Test agreement
- Vote with thumb – up (I agree with choice made), down (I don’t agree with choice made), sideways (I agree with groups choice – straddling the fence)
- When mixed discuss votes – ask questions for more info – this is not a soap box to advocate etc.
- Vote by consensus –not majority rule. Set a time limit with fallback ruling.
5. Help everyone participate
- Check progress and discuss
- Allow those struggling to speak
- Rephrase with words
- Comment on what you see
6. Close off the meeting
- Near the end of the meeting
- Summarize important points
- Review action items
Remember: Don’t facilitate AND participate – if you want to contribute then consider getting an outsider to facilitate the meeting.
Some nice tips that I will try and remember the next time I’m facilitating a meeting, I am especially bad at the ‘not participating’ part 😦