Six Benefits by Improving Your Facilitative Leadership and Meeting Skills


As you amplify and increase your facilitative leadership skills, you and your team participants will become more successful.  What is our measurement of success?  Let us consider six substantial areas of success including:

  1. Consensual Understanding and Higher Quality Decisions
  2. Flexibility and Breaking through Stalemates and Deadlocks
  3. Impactful Groups through Improved Working Relationships
  4. Integral Decision-Making
  5. Knowledge Transfer and Increased Organizational Effectiveness
  6. Saving Time and Increased Personal Effectiveness

Let us look at each briefly in a more detail:

Strengthen Your Skills

Strengthen Your Skills

  1. Consensual Understanding and Higher Quality Decisions:  Properly facilitated, participants understand both WHAT is decided and WHY.  Since groups are capable of generating more options than the aggregate of individuals, they arrive at higher quality decisions that are capable of reconciling seemingly contrary points of view.
  2. Flexibility and Breaking through Stalemates and Deadlocks:  Structured approaches afford a higher degree of flexibility, than approaches without structure.  With structure, and topical flow, meetings can take the “scenic route” because there is a back-up plan to provide a respite from the stream of consciousness approach taken by unstructured meetings.  By exploring newly created options and challenging working assumptions, teams can breakthrough their stalemates and deadlocks by rediscovering common ground or by creating options during the meeting that did not walk in to the room at the start of the meeting.
  3. Impactful Groups through Improved Working Relationships:  Conflict becomes properly managed rather than ignored.  Complex issues may be addressed face-to-face as they should, rather than through a series of e-mails and innuendo.  Proper facilitation will demonstrate the opportunity and method for discovering win-win solutions.  As stakeholders’ ideas are sought, meeting activity will become more collaborative and innovative
  4. Integral Decision-Making: Defined as better alignment with organizational goals and objectives.  Structured decision-making must appeal to organizational goals and objectives supported by the meeting; typically the project, program, business unit, and enterprise.  Alignment with the “holarchial” perspective ensures that proposed actions are appropriate and supports prioritization based on the impact of proposed changes across the entire enterprise.  Effective decision-making reflects the integral perspective.
  5. Knowledge Transfer and Increased Organizational Effectiveness:  Learning organizations understand the need and power behind the transfer of knowledge from those who know to those who do not know, but should.  Facilitated environments provide the opportunity for challenge, reflection, and documentation that underlies shared understanding and amplifies organizational effectiveness.  Facilitative leadership also makes it easier to develop new leaders.
  6. Saving Time and Increased Personal Effectiveness:  Session leaders (aka facilitators) will more done faster.  As staff is treated as colleagues, commitment and motivation increases.  By becoming expert on method and tools rather than content, they can continue to use tools that generate consistent and repeatable results.  Meetings only fail because either the participants do not have the talent, do not have the motivation, or do not know how.  The role of the facilitative leader shows them how.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

The Positive Psychology of Chenille Stems: How to Make Everything Seem Easier


If you seek innovation and breakthrough during your group meetings or workshops, do not clone yourself.  Constantly strive to blend and mix various ingredients and participants.  But be prepared to keep them all stimulated.  We call it the “Zen” of the experience—that is appealing to all the senses to stimulate and maintain vibrancy.

Stimulate the Senses

Stimulate the Senses

As you know, moods and judgments can be influenced by unrelated experiences of sight and sound.  For example, we typically feel happier on sunny days and perhaps more relaxed when listening to certain types of music.  Heat and humidity are known to provoke more fighting, violence, and even riots.

You are encouraged to use multiple colors to break up the monotony of a single color hue.  You are encouraged to use icons and illustrations to break up the monotony of recording notes purely in the narrative format.  Likewise, use matrices, tables, and templates to stimulate your participants.

Our popular break timers blend a musical background that could best be described as eclectic—everything, from Frank to Frank as in Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa.  We even suggest the use of Purell®, citrus fruit, and fresh air to alert participants who may be dozing off.  Likewise we encourage the use of 30-30, or 30 second stand-up and stretch breaks every 30 minutes.

In a similar fashion, we have used chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners) and foam stickers for nearly twenty years now.  While not all participants use them, research by Joshua Ackerman, Christopher Nocera, and John Bargh shows that the weight, texture, and hardness of the things we touch are unconsciously factored into decisions that have nothing to do what is being touched.

Most people associate smoothness and roughness with ease and difficulty.  Note the expressions “smooth sailing” and “rough seas ahead.”  According to the researchers, people who completed a puzzle with pieces covered in sandpaper described their interaction as more difficult and awkward than those with smooth puzzles.  Chenille stems offer both silky smoothness and flexibility, characteristics we seek from our participants and meetings.  Let the chenille stems make everything seem better, they seem to work, and research confirms why.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

 

What to Do About the Seven Deadly Sins of Facilitating (in alphabetical order):


1. Assuming:  Simply because the facilitator hears what was said does not imply everyone heard what was said.  The key to active listening is thorough reflection.  Whether it’s audio (i.e., spoken) or visual (i.e., written down), the facilitator’s role is to ensure common understanding, not assume that common understanding exists simply because something was spoken.

Seven Deadly Sins of Facilitating

Seven Deadly Sins of Facilitating

2. Modifiers:  Nouns and verbs are a facilitator’s friend.  Modifier such as adjectives and adverbs cause dissent.  For example, we may all be eating the same bowl of chili, but it may be both hot (i.e., spicy) and not so hot to different people, both correct in their assessment.  Most arguments are caused by how spicy the chili is, not by whether or not it is chili.

3. Neutrality (or lack thereof):  A session leader who offers content and judgment appears to the participants to have the “answer”.  They will go quiet as they listen to what the leader believes to be true, comparing and contrasting the espoused point of view with their own truth.  In the role of facilitator, do not offer up or evaluate content during the session.

4. Plurality:  Ask one question at a time.  Do not try to facilitate more than one issue at once.  Close it out before moving on to the next issue.  Most groups will succeed if they are facilitated to a position where the issue is clear and properly managed, one issue at a time.

5. Precision:  Prefer substance to style.  Avoid impersonal pronouns such as it, this, and those.  Speak clearly and substitute words like “bunch” or “lots” for consultese like “plethora.”  Strive to speak in a manner that would be understood by your grandmothers.

6. Processing:  Session leaders that analyze the content fill their minds with analysis that places a large stress on their ability to hear what others are saying.  Analyzing participant input makes it very difficult to provide comprehensive reflection of what was said.

7. Unprepared: There is no secret or “silver bullet” to effective facilitation if the session leader shows up ill prepared.  Aside from active listening, with a strong emphasis on reflection, there aren’t any skills to help a facilitator during a session who shows up unprepared.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

14 Facilitator Typologies to Avoid (Humorous, Although Uncannily Real)


In light of upcoming Holiday Spirit, here is a quick and somewhat humorous listing of fourteen different facilitator typologies or “personalities” you might seek to avoid. My favorite is “The Pretender.”

14 Typologies to Avoid

14 Typologies to Avoid

  • The “I Can’t Hear You” Guy—The facilitator who refuses to listen, probably because they are too busy analyzing, judging, and processing information.
  • The Blabber—The facilitator who loves the sound of his or her own voice, and actually believes they are adding value when speaking about content rather than context.
  • The Centerpiece—The facilitator who makes he or she the real content of the workshop, because of course, it’s all about them.
  • The Drill Sergeant—The facilitator who is rigidly stuck on the agenda and puts the clock above quality content.
  • The Guardian—The facilitator who makes certain that all conversation goes through him or her and not from participant to participant, so as not to lose control.
  • The Ice Cube—The distant and aloof facilitator who is unwilling to personalize the experience, sometimes becoming accusatory.
  • The Know-it-all—The facilitator who always has the answer. The know-it-all whom can’t say “I don’t know.”
  • The Marathon Man—The facilitator who piles activities on top of one another, doesn’t allow for breaks, and ignores the need for groups to pause, reflect, and absorb topics and ideas.
  • The Molasses Man—The facilitator who is painfully slow and doesn’t have an innate feel for pacing, variety, or style.
  • The Parrot—The facilitator who relentlessly recaps information, restates ideas, and summarizes the obvious (although sometime justifiable for groups that are challenged to focus and “be here now.”)
  • The Passenger—The facilitator who lets people talk too long and gives up the reins of facilitation to whomever is speaking at the time.
  • The Pretender—The facilitator who doesn’t ask real questions but only “pretense questions” that are really designed to give the facilitator an excuse to pontificate.
  • The Storyteller—The facilitator who tells far too many cutesy stories or “war stories” and never gets deep into the content.
  • The Tunnel Driver—The facilitator who keeps doing the same thing or uses the same method hour after hour.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

Seven Top Skills for Managing Change in an Enterprise or Organization


To improve or enhance your personal capacities and to help you understand what skills to seek in others that support effective change, we have isolated seven top skills.

Change Management

Change Management

These skills are those most frequently identified by employers according to Syracuse University public-affairs professor Bill Coplin, author of “10 Things Employers Want You To Learn In College.” With our focus on change and business process improvement, we have modified them and listed them in order of priority as they apply to facilitating and managing change:

  1. Integrity—“Do what you say you are going to do.” Without integrity and work ethic, all the other skills could be dangerous. Coplin incudes self-motivation and time management.
  2. Communications—the greatest and most innovative ideas are impotent if they are not adequately explained to others. Coplin separates verbal or oral communications from written and also emphasizes editing and proofing one’s work.
  3. Team Work—change never occurs in a vacuum and effective change relies on distributed ownership. Stakeholders need to embrace the change or it will fail. Coplin mentions one-on-one, relationship building, and influencing people through leadership.
  4. Infomediary—effectively receiving, archiving, and distributing information that each stakeholder needs to plan, operate, and control and the change effort to their level of satisfaction. Colin refers to gathering information and keeping it organized.
  5. Measurement—“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” so become adept with quantitative tools, statistics, graphs, and spreadsheets. Know how to objectively measure why something is important.
  6. Questioning—Few skills are harder to teach and yet as important as knowing the right question to ask. Subject matter experts abound in most organizations, they need to be stimulated by the right question in the proper context, and they can deliver.
  7. Problem Solving—While Coplin emphasizes identifying problems, developing possible solutions, and launching solutions, we would add the importance of properly analyzing the problems as well. Do not leap from identification to solution without a thorough understanding of the implications of the problem.

Let us know what you think by commenting below. For additional methodology and team-based meeting support for your change initiative, refer to “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

Questions about Political Factors that Impact the Amount of Meeting Risk (4 of 5)


This is the fourth of a five-part discussion, providing a method for evaluating the relative risk of a meeting or workshop.

Method

The method follows the steps below:

  • Review the risk assessment questions from prior worksheets or those that follow.
  • Use the FAST risk analysis worksheets to capture your answers and compute a score.
  • Use this score as a basis for the risk-skill matching described in the risk-skill map section.

QuestionsPolitical Factors

POLITICAL FACTORS

The political factors are an indicator of the political and personality climate surrounding the project.  These factors heavily influence the success of a facilitated approach.

1. Business Attitude: What is the attitude of the business? The general attitude of the business toward the system is: understands the FAST process and its value (good), does not fully understand the process and is somewhat reluctant (fair), has no appreciation for the process and is anti-project (poor).

2. Management: How committed is upper management to the project? This question concerns upper level business management’s support and backing for the project.  Adequate commitment defines those behaviors needed to maintain a non-hostile atmosphere toward the project.  If the attitude is not enthusiastic, investigate and resolve.

3. Controversy: What is the level of controversy surrounding potential specifications? How controversial is the potential solution for the project?  Are there multiple solutions with very strong support for each and little chance of compromise?  Is a potential solution going to cause a controversial reorganization?

4. Participant Level: What is the job level of the participants? Sessions become more politically charged the higher the job grade involved.  Specify the general job grade level of participant.

5. Cooperative Users: How cooperative are organizational groups with each other? If this includes various organizational units, are they cooperative or competitive?  To what degree do they talk to each other?  This question refers to the people responsible for specifying the information—not necessarily the final doer.

6. Flexibility: The participants have how much flexibility and judgment in the final decision? The participants exercise what degree of flexibility and judgment—very high (67% – 100%), average (34% – 66%), or very little (0% – 33%).

7. Processing Flexibility: The participants have how much flexibility and judgment in process design? This question is similar to question 6 above but pertains to the participant’s freedom in process and analysis

8. Design Flexibility: The participants have how much flexibility and judgment in detailed design? This question is similar to questions 6 and 7 previously but addresses the participant’s freedom in detailed design content.

9. Stability: How stable is the organization? This question is looking for the capacity to identify and coordinate players in the project without frequent changes.  This question refers to the people responsible for specifying the information—not necessarily the final doer.

  • If the organization changes very little and the key players will be in their position the entire duration of the project—answer very stable (0).
  • If periodic reorganizations happen that may replace some of the key players—answer periodic reorganizations (1).
  • If reorganizations happen every 6 months or less in either organization—answer frequent reorganizations (2).
  • If reorganizations happen frequently in both the business and data processing side due to changes in management, unstable organizations, or major shifts in the business—answer very unstable (3).

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

Questions about Complexity Factors that Impact the Amount of Meeting Risk (3 of 5)


This is the third of a five-part discussion, providing a method for evaluating the relative risk of a meeting or workshop.

Method

The method follows the steps below:

  • Review the risk assessment questions from prior worksheets or those that follow.
  • Use the FAST risk analysis worksheets to capture your answers and compute a score.
  • Use this score as a basis for the risk-skill matching described in the risk-skill map section.

QuestionsComplexity Factors

COMPLEXITY

The complexity factors measure the existing structure of the business and the volatility of the requirements.  This measures how difficult it will be to understand and organize the requirements.

  1. Project Type: The project may best be described as? not applicable (ie, a planning session), replacement for an existing process, modification for an existing process, or a new process. Is the project a replacement or a new effort?  If it is a replacement, is the current process primarily automated or manual?  A new effort would indicate that the business process is new.
  2. Replacement Percentage: What percentage of existing functions can be replaced on a one-to-one basis? For replacement projects, what percentage of the existing functions needs no change to processing rules and process flows?
  3. Project Complexity: What is the project complexity? From an engineering perspective what is the degree of complexity of the project?  Is this technically less complex, about the same, or technically more complex than other projects?
  4. Changes: How severe are the procedural changes with the proposed project?  From a business processing perspective, what degree of change will the new project introduce to the overall conduct of business?  When viewed through the eyes of the person carrying it on, will the project dramatically change the way business works?  Will revised business procedures be required for workflow?
  5. First Time: Are the proposed methods or procedures first of kind for the project team? Has the project team used the proposed methods and procedures before?  For example, if using a new methodology and a new tool to support it, does the project team have experience with it?
  6. First for Business: Are the proposed methods or procedures first of kind for the business? This question is similar to question 5 above but from the business side.  Does the business have experience with the methodology?  This question refers to the people responsible for creating the request—not necessarily the person working with the workflow.
  7. Business Acceptance: Will the business readily accept the proposed methods and procedures for developing the requirements? Will the business resist the methods used to extract and present the information?  If so, answer “no” to the question.  This question refers to the people responsible for specifying the information—not necessarily the final doer.
  8. Team Acceptance: Will the project team readily accept the proposed methods and procedures for developing the requirements? Will the project team resist the methods and procedures for information gathering and presentation.  If so, answer “no”.
  9. New Technology: Is new or unfamiliar technology needed? Can the business (the final doer) easily make the switch to the new equipment required by the project, or will an extensive training and installation effort be required?
  10. Success Dependent: Is the project’s success dependent on new technology? Does performance of new technology play a key role in the success of the project?
  11. Structure:  What is the rating of predetermined structure for the new project? The predetermined structure rating is:
    1. high—requires little or no procedural changes at the doer level,
    2. medium—requires a moderate or average level of procedural change at the doer level,
    3. low—requires a high amount of procedural changes and doer education.
  12. Outside Purchase: Are purchased or outside sources being used? Is the project based on outside purchases?  If so, to what degree?  Purchased software may also include reusable functionality modified in-house.
  13. Vendor Support: How good is vendor support of the outside purchases? What is vendor’s track record concerning support in general and the specific purchase in particular?  What support is available for in-house modified technology or software?

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

How Facilitated Leadership Can Help You Overcome 7 Common Project Pitfalls


Facilitative leadership provides the best assurance that team leads/ project managers can overcome project pitfalls.  Borrowing from the PMBoK (ie, Project Management Institute Body of Knowledge) and other published sources, following are seven of the most common project pitfalls. A discussion about each follows below.

Using Facilitative LeadershipTo Overcome Project Management Pitfalls

Using Facilitative Leadership
To Overcome Project Management Pitfalls

7 Project Pitfalls

  1. Abandonment of Planning
  2. Feature (Scope) Creep
  3. Omitting Necessary Tasks
  4. Overly Optimistic Schedule
  5. Suboptimal Requirements Definition
  6. Underestimating Testing
  7. Weak Team

Abandonment of Planning 

Do not abandon your plan or the planning effort. No matter how proactive you are, some contributors will under perform, customers will request changes, and technical issues will prevent you from delivering some features on time. It’s not a question of “if” but “when”. As soon as you start to deviate from your plan, intelligently refactor, but stick to it. Never abandon your plan.

Feature (Scope) Creep

As time goes on, customers learn more about their needs and they come up with new features and ways of improving existing ones. Don’t let these changes throw your project plan out of control. Gather the feedback, analyze it, prioritize it, document it, and schedule the changes as mutually agreed upon. You’re not going to build the perfect product in one release. Deliver on your existing commitments, and try to facilitate deeper understanding about many the change requests. Omissions can be quite costly, so don’t immediately discount the value of understanding.

Omitting Necessary Tasks 

A project schedule should not simply comprise the tasks required to develop product and process features. It should also include other derivative activities, such as interacting with customers, writing detailed functional specifications, and receiving technical training. Team-support activities cannot be skipped and therefore should not be ignored when baselining a project schedule.

Overly Optimistic Schedule

Meeting schedules should be aggressive, yet realistic. Demanding an overly optimistic schedule greatly reduces your chance of completing a project on time. Be aggressive with your plan, but remain realistic.

“Even particularly smart people in extremely high-performing situations will consistently underestimate how much time it takes to complete certain tasks.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize

Suboptimal Requirements Definition

While showing illusional progress, coding before requirements gathering actually delays project completions. Spending time early refining requirements can save weeks later on.

Underestimating Testing 

Project tend to underestimate how much effort is required to test a major release. As a rule of thumb, one-third of the entire project should be spent testing and fixing defects for major releases. Consensual understanding of test results and implications is key to stakeholder ownership.

Weak Team

Various resources claim that there is as much as a ten-to-one efficiency ratio between top performers and mediocre ones. Second-rate members contribute to project failures in many ways. They deliver late, do stuff that doesn’t support the project, and allow defects in their work that lacks the level of quality deemed acceptable by you and other stakeholders. Select your team members carefully. At the end of the day, even the best project manager can’t succeed with a weak team.

Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Four Activities to Efficiently and Effectively Wrap-up a Meeting


Here is how to facilitate the four most important activities to properly wrap-up a meeting or workshop: 1-Review, 2-Next Steps, 3-Communications, and 4-Assessment. None of the following should ever be skipped entirely, so expand and contract based on your situation and constraints.

1-Review

Wrap-up

Do not relive the meeting; simply review the outputs, decisions, assignments, etc. Focus on the results and deliverable of each agenda step and not on how you got there. Participants do not need a transcription, they need to be reminded about the takeaways, and be offered the opportunity to ask for additional information or clarification before the meeting ends.

2-Next Steps

There are various methods and treatments of open items and formal assignments, such as roles and responsibilities. For additional and detailed support see How to Transform Your Responsibility Matrix Into a GANTT Chart for help building a RASI matrix and How to Manage the Parking Lot and Wrap-up Meetings for helping to manage the Parking Lot or Refrigerator. Once the next steps and assignments are clear, the meeting is nearly over.

3-Communications

Here you lead the participants to agree on what they will tell other stakeholders was accomplished during the meetings.  It is a good idea if the participants sound as if they were in the same meeting, so take a few moments to homogenize the rhetoric and help them agree on what they will tell people who ask. Minimally consider two audiences, and record the bullets or sound bites for each, namely: their superiors and other stakeholders (eg, peers or customers). See How to Communicate Meeting and Workshop Results for detailed support.

4-Assessment

Get feedback on how you did. Set up or mark a white board by the exit door and create two columns, typically PLUS and DELTA (ie, the Greek symbol ∆ or “change”) but also known as Benefits & Concerns and other cultural specific labels. Have each participant write down on a small Post-it® note, at least one thing they liked about the meeting (+) and one thing they would change (∆). Ask them to mount each note in its respective column as they exit. Again see  How to Manage the Parking Lot and Wrap-up Meetings for detailed support.

Effective leaders will not disband their meetings until participants have been offered a final opportunity to comment or question, action steps have been discussed, messaging has been agreed to, and feedback for continuous improvement has been solicited. Until next week, continue to fortify your skill set with tools and improvement suggestions available in many of our prior postings.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

 

How to Build a Roles and Responsibility Matrix for Multiple Sites


 

Here is a roles and responsibilities matrix that can help you manage more complicated situations than the traditional RACI model (or its equivalent) discussed in How to Transform Your Responsibility Matrix Into a GANTT Chart.

Roles and Responsibilities for Multiple Sites

Using the table above as an illustrative template, following is the content suggested by this method that need to be developed and facilitated. The suggested content is coupled with additional explanations of the column headings.

The first section provides details about the Activity or Task that need to be assigned and completed. Since the details will not fit comfortably into a spreadsheet cell, the cell could be coded and refer to another document with additional details. As the details may or may not be complete at the time of the assignment, there may be a separate individual or group who takes on the role to author and provide the details. When initially logged, the details are either complete (y for yes) or not (n for not).

Since identical tasks may be carried out in multiple facilities, code the facilities in the Location section. There could be more than two facilities of course. If more than two, you might substitute “A” for all instead of “B” for both.

The WHO section captures who will be responsible for the activity or task at each respective location. If necessary, you can add an additional column indicating their backup or who may be supporting them.

The Frequency section refers to how often the activity or task needs to be performed. The due date captures WHEN the activity or task should be completed. For repetitive activities or tasks, the coding shown suggests the following:

  • W = weekly
  • M = monthly
  • Q = quarterly
  • A = annually
  • V = variable or ad hoc

The last section captures the intensity or concentration of effort required to complete the task. While frequently shown as hours per month, you could substitute FTE (ie, full-time equivalent) or whatever measurement works best in your culture.

Finally, you could append the table with a resource column that estimates how much financial capital or currency is required to support the activity or task. Clearly this is a tool that you can modify to your own situation, cultural expectations, and terms—so experiment freely.

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

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