Facilitation Skills for Technical Professionals
A key role of the Technical Manager is to enable people to collaborate through meetings to ensure quality results. Typical goals include defining customer requirements, scoping projects, generating ideas, solving problems, gaining commitment, or performing continuous improvement analysis.
Facilitation skills help the Technical Manager enhance a group's ability to effectively share and evaluate knowledge, experience and ideas. They enable the Technical Manager to resolve disagreements, reach consensus, and maintain positive relationships essential to the smooth functioning of the organization.
Research shows that when people meet as part of a well-facilitated group, they make higher-quality decisions than any individual would make working alone. This applies whether the group is a permanent unit or is formed for a temporary purpose, such as a project.
Whether working with intact departments, project teams, project stakeholders, or internal/external customers, facilitation skills are essential to maximizing performance.
Effective collaborative efforts are purposeful, well-planned, well-facilitated, and well followed-up. This workshop will provide participants with the guidelines, processes, practical tools, and practice necessary to design and facilitate effective, results-oriented meetings.
This is an optional course for the Project Management Certificate or the Quality Management Certificate or can be attended as a stand-alone course.
Participants will plan, facilitate and troubleshoot goal-oriented group sessions using the guidelines, practical tools and facilitation techniques featured during the workshop. Practice opportunities will be tailored to each participant's personal workplace situation.
Who should attend
This workshop is for people who manage technical functions or lead projects in business, government, or community-based organizations. This workshop is also suitable for non-managers who currently (or will soon be expected to) facilitate some of the following processes:
Problem Definition and Root Cause Analysis
Determining Stakeholder Requirements
Data Interpretation and Analysis
Project Update Meetings
Planning and Setting Priorities
Problem Solving and Decision-Making
Identifying Lessons Learned
Benefits to participants
Attending this workshop will enable you to:
- Clarify objectives and desired outcomes;
- Select facilitation processes and techniques appropriate to your objective;
- Customize the use of over 20 practical facilitation tools included in the participant "toolkit";
- Facilitate high-quality discussions;
- Bring out the best in participants' contributions;
- Manage group dynamics;
- Intervene appropriately when necessary;
- Make high-quality decisions;
- Use concise, practical tools to record and communicate decisions;
- Improve accountability for accomplishing action items;
- Evaluate the quality of your meetings and plan for continuous improvement.
Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Day 2 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. There will be 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon breaks. A light lunch is included from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Course objectives will be met through the use of case studies, instructor demonstrations and presentations, small and large group discussions, and hands-on practice with feedback. The course will be highly interactive.
The Technical Manager as Facilitator
When to Have a Facilitated Meeting
Basic Model of Facilitation
Meeting Content versus Meeting Process
Facilitator Styles - Self Assessment
Core Facilitation Skills
Goal Setting and Scoping
Selecting and Preparing Participants
Designing the Agenda
Selecting Facilitation Methods and Techniques
Practical Documentation of Decisions
Introducing the Meeting
Establishing Ground Rules
Facilitating for a Purpose
Demonstration and practice of flexible facilitation tools and techniques tailored to specific objectives, including stakeholder consultation, setting priorities and problem-solving (over 20 tools are included in the workshop materials; those demonstrated and practiced will be chosen by participants)
Model of Process Diagnosis and Intervention
Identifying Task, Maintenance and Individual Behaviours
Identifying Stages of Group Development
Providing Process Feedback
Managing Challenging Participant Behaviours
Final Practice Session
Application of facilitation skills learnings to your projects
Angela Scammell, B.Sc., M.Adult Ed, has 20 years experience delivering and managing organization development and training in private, public, and academic organizations. As a GE Aircraft-trained Six Sigma Black Belt, she also has significant project management experience in technical, industrial, administrative and business process domains. Angela's company, Scammell & Associates Organization Development Consulting, assists people and processes to perform effectively through group facilitation, training, change acceleration and business process improvement. She has been a Principal Instructor in the St. F. X. University Diploma in Adult Education (Training for the Trainer) program since 1991.