September 2009

Welcome to the International Association of Facilitators Methods Database (IAFMD). We hope that your meetings and team events went well.

The Database

This month we have added a new feature. It is called products. These are the standard things that a face to face facilitator uses, marker, white boards, etc. What we are hoping to do is to share tips and tricks when using them. An example of tips and tricks would be:

“When permanent markers are used on a white board.
If you don't have cleaning fluid or nail polish remover when a permanent markers have been used on a white board, you can use white board markers. Draw over the permanent with a regular marker and and quickly wipe it off. This seems to work best when done in small batches.

There are two kinds of nail polish remover those with acetone and those without. The remover with acetone works better but both do work.”

You can add categories by send them to us. You can share ideas by using the comments boxes.

Method of the Month

Definitions of Success

Intent of the process.
To establish concise Definitions of Success for the project or opportunity and to reach agreement about what a completed successful project or opportunity looks like. This method also helps the team to think in phased based ways.

Setting and Materials:
Two or more sheets of flip Chart paper. At the top of two put the Reference date and under that on the first sheet write “Definition of Success” and on the second sheet “Measures of Success” the forms need to be large ones for display on the wall and small ones for individual worksheets.

Determine the project phases.

1. This tool establishes concise Definitions of Success for the end of the project and for each phase.
2. Each of the Definitions of Success will have a reference date, usually the ending date and a metric or measure of success. See the form.

1. Choose a reference date for the whole project. This should be long enough after the completion of the project to see if it is working as planned.
2. Divide the project into phases.
3. Come to quick agreement about the definition of success for each phase.
4. Divide the group into teams one for each of the Definitions of Success.
5. We want to have each team to write their Definitions of Success. You should have definitions for every aspect of the project. Pass out the forms.
6. Each form should be filled out in the following way:
a. We want full sentences. This is because if you only use a phase in a few weeks it is possible that it will not mean anything.
b. Write in past tense (We drilled, we purchased, etc.).
c. Put the reference date on the form. This is either some time after the project is completed or the end of the phase.
d. Write out the Definition of Success in a sentence (this does not need a lot of editing work but capture the idea).
e. Formulate the definition by asking these kinds of questions:
i. What is our overarching statement that defines what success is?
ii. We will have achieved success if?
f. Decide on and write out how this will be measured.
g. Check against the Opportunity Statement (or overall definition of the purpose of the project). If necessary either change the Definition of Success or recommend changes in the Opportunity Statement.
h. Go to the next Definition of Success and repeat steps a. ? e.
7. When the groups are done ask them to report their definitions and any changes they are recommending about the Opportunity Statement.
8. After each report.
\. Are there any suggestions about how to improve the statements?
a. Are there any conflicts between the Definitions of Success?
b. Are we agreed that this is acceptable?
9. When all the reports are completed. Assign someone to make whatever corrections need to be made and someone to take responsibility for typing this up.
1. What did we achieve today?
2. What did you learn?
3. What is the next step?

1. The forms should be prepared ahead of time. There should be at least five small sized sheet per participant and several larger sized for display.
2. Teams might refer to Value Drivers and Critical Success Factors to help develop Definitions of Success.
3. The following questions might be useful as people are developing their Definitions:
- What is required to finish the feasibility assessment of this opportunity?
- What does selecting the best way of doing this project mean to you?
- What does execute mean for this opportunity?
If you have suggestions about methods let us know.

The Monthly Poll
This month’s poll is about developments in Facilitation
I think the most important development in facilitation is:
Computer assisted facilitation – 27%
The use of Stories - 31%
Graphic facilitation - 15%
Cross cultural decision making - 27%