IAF Methods Database Newsletter January 2011

Dear colleagues,
Welcome to the first IAF-Methods Database Newsletter issue of the new decade! This month’s method was inspired by a workshop for IAF Benelux led by Jan Lelie and Annet Noordik earlier this month. Just as in the November newsletter, this is a convergence approach, here aimed at establishing in a somewhat playful way the relationships among various parts of a team’s action plan. I hope it’s as helpful (and fun) for you as it was for us!

Method of the Month
The Project Tree
Purpose
To enable a group to analyze together how the different parts of their plan relate to one another before moving to a timeline.
Steps

Preparation:
Have the group create cards, one for each event in their plan. Draw on a very large sheet of paper (two or three pieces of flipchart paper taped together and mounted on the wall) the outline of a tree, including roots, a broad trunk, branches, leaves and fruits.

Process:
Ask the group to mount the steps of their plan onto the tree. If there are more than 5 people, divide them into subgroups.
• Roots – Which items need to be accomplished first before the rest can begin.?
• Trunk – Which items are the project’s core activities, and will need to keep on throughout the process?
• Branches – Which are separate lines of work that can operate independently?
• Leaves – Which items make the whole plan attractive and can change as needed?
• Fruits – Which items achieve the goal of the plan, what the rest is aimed to achieve?
As members go along, they may need to create additional cards for project items thus far forgotten.

Reporting:
Have someone describe how the tree lives, starting with its roots and moving out towards its fruits. Group members may add to each other’s descriptions.
Close with the question: What are some things that could help nourish this tree?

Last Month's Poll

Last month’s Poll raised the question, How long do your facilitated sessions generally last? The responses were:

One half day or less 13%
A full day 20%
More than one day in sequence 40%
Multiple half or full days spread over time (eg, once a week, once a month, etc.) 27%

If you have a suggestion for a poll please contact us!