The Electronic Discussion on
Group Facilitation
Process Expertise for Group Effectiveness
Moderator: Sandor P. Schuman



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Resource Files

Facilitation Methods

Model/Methodology:       Applied Strategic Planning

Author/Originator:       University Associates

Application(s):          Strategic planning

Model/Methodology:       Participatory Strategic Planning

Author/Originator:       Institute of Cultural Affairs

Application(s):          Strategic planning and building

Model/Methodology:       Classic JAD (Joint Application Development)

Author/Originator:       Anthony Crawford and IBM

Application(s):          Large system design

Model/Methodology:       The Theory of Constraints

Author/Originator:       The Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute

Application(s):          Problem solving

Model/Methodology:       Dynamic Facilitation Skills

Author/Originator:       Jim Rough

Application(s):          Breakthrough thinking

Model/Methodology:       The METHOD

Author/Originator:       ATLIS Performance Resources, Inc.

Application(s):          System design

Model/Methodology: FAST (Facilitated Application Specification Technique)
Author/Originator: Gary Rush, CPF, MGR Consulting
Application (s): Business, systems, analysis, team building, and problem solving, amongst others

Model/Methodology:       Quest 200l

Author/Originator:       Jerry Spight, Prism

Application(s):          Quality enhancement

Model/Methodology:       The Ladder

Author/Originator:       Systems Improvement, Inc.

Application(s):          Quality improvement

Model/Methodology:       Open Space Technology

Author/Originator:       Harrison Owen

Application(s):          Innovative thinking, problem solving especially

                        for large, diverse groups

Model/Methodology:       Search Conferencing

Author/Originator:       Merrelyn Emery

Application(s):          Participative strategic planning

Model/Methodology:       Participative Design Workshop

Author/Originator:       Fred Emery

Application(s):          Organizational design and change

Model/Methodology:       Future Conferencing

Author/Originator:       Marvin Weisbord

Application(s):          Strategic and community planning for large groups

Model/Methodology:       Teampower

Author/Originator:       Rollin Glaser, OD&D Seminars

Application(s):          Team building

Model/Methodology:       Enterprise Architecture Planning

Author/Originator:       Steven Spewak

Application(s):          Enterprise-wide large systems planning and design

Model/Methodology:       The Transition Equation (a book)

Author/Originator:       J. Allan McCarthy

Application(s):          BPR-related, organizational change

Model/Methodology:       Experience Based Training and Development

Author/Originator:       Simon Priest, Corporate Adventure Training


Application(s):          Outdoor adventure training for management

Model/Methodology:       Future Mapping

Author/Originator:       Northeast Consulting Resources, Inc.

Application(s):          Scenario design planning for organizations


From: (Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.)

Model/Methodology:       Understanding Strategic Planning

Author/Originator:       Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.

Application(s):          Strategic Management/Planning

Model/Methodology:       The Northern Pike Principle and Other Change

                        Principles for the 21st Century

Author/Originator:       Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.

Application(s):          Strategic Management/Organizational Change

Model/Methodology:       Strategic Marketing

Author/Originator:       Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.

Application(s):          Strategic Management/Marketing

Model/Methodology:       Strategic Structuring

Author/Originator:       Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.

Application(s):          Organizational Change/Reorganization

Model/Methodology:       Surviving Organizational Change

Author/Originator:       Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.

Application(s):          Organizational Change

Model/Methodology:       Successful Strategic & Tactical Planning

Author/Originator:       Hudson Associates Consulting, Inc.

Application(s):          Strategic Management



In my book _ID Project Management: Tools and Techniques for Instructional

Designers and Developers_ I present the ten-step *ID Project Management

Model*.   In the text, each step is described in terms of its purpose, the

activities performed, and the results obtained.   In my workshop, _Planning

Successful ID Projects_, I teach people how to use the model to plan projects

(create project scope and set up control mechanisms) within the framework of

this model.   Estimates of required project time and budget are based on

worksheets which have the model built into them.

The book received AECT's ID Tool of the Year award and has been adopted by

many graduate school programs.   In addition, I have taught the methodology to

people at many companies through on-site training sessions and NSPI

conference workshops.



SYMLOG-"Systematic Multiple Level Observation Of Groups" Robert F. Bales

"A theory of personality and group dynamics integrated with a set of

practical methods for measuring and changing behavior and values in a

democratic way.   It is designed for application in a specific group in its

natural situation."

"Applications include assessment of teamwork and leadership potential of

individuals for selection and training, the compostition of groups and

inprovement of teamwork, leadership training, and the training of educators

in a broad sense, including teachers, caoches, therapists, and other

professional who work primariiy with people."


From: Rachael Tayar <>

I don't know much about it, but have heard of SYMLOG certification

(invented by/developed from work of Robert Bales in group process).

The contact name I have is Dave Carey

SYMLOG Consulting Group

PO Box 28085

San Diego CA   92198

Voice:   619-673-2098.


From: Sandor P. Schuman     Albany, New York

Following are the four formal models we find ourselves using most

frequently when working with problem solving and decision making groups:

System dynamics

  For example, see Peter Senge's book, The Fifth Discipline.

Resource allocation

  For example, see Schuman and Rohrbaugh (1991).   Decision conferencing

  for systems planning.   Information and Management, 21, 147-159

Social judgment analysis

  For example, see Harmon and Rohrbaugh (1990).   Social judgment analysis

  and small group decision making: Cognitive feedback effects on

  individual and collective performance.   Organizational Behavior and

  Human Decision Processes, 46, 34-54.

Multiattribute utility analysis

  For example, see Reagan-Cirincione, Schuman, Richardson, and Dorf

  (1991).   Decision modeling: Tools for strategic thinking.   Interfaces,

  21, 52-65. (Also includes example using system dynamics)

AND also from Sandor:

Strategic Choice

John Friend and Allen Hickling

Strategic Planning

(Planning Under Pressure:   The Strategic Choice Approach.   New York:

Pergammon Press, 1987)


From: (Russell Collins)

Model/Methodology:       The Science of Generic Design/Interactive


Author/Originator:       Prof John Warefield with improvements by Dr Cliff


Application(s):          Anything that is a complex situation


From: Jim Rough <>

In the book "Community-building: Renewing Spirit and Learning in

Business" is described a large system facilitative intervention called

the "Wisdom Council". See The Community Building Webpage at


From: Rachel Bodle        (

How about the strategic choice approach developed by John Friend

and Alan Hickling, -   practical applications of which are described in

their book *Planning under Pressure* Pergamon 1987, and supported

by their software package STRAD?

Thinking about this question made me aware of how much I've learnt

by working alongside skilled practitioners whose approaches are not

adequately documented (and some of their magic would be hard to

capture). It seems to me that much facilitation is a craft and must be

learned at least partially through an apprenticeship role.

I'm curious about how others have built their skills - and how others

continue to develop new frameworks or skills to handle a broader

agenda,   & greater diversity of participant groups ever more



From: (Yvonne Hansen)

In response to you query for commonly used facilitator methods that deal w/

strategic planning, team building and problem solving, I have used model

building, graphic models, that is.

The in highly interactive approach I used for graphic facilitation, I begin to

build a visible model based on systems thinking and force field analysis

(both of which I keep in my mind) as the group describes the problem.   I use

large sheets of newsprint (roll ends no longer available so I've switched to

3' bond and paper like the stuff we used in Albq. which is called bulletin

board paper available from school supply stores - one is very near my place)

that are large enough to accomodate a lot of information.   In a

psychologically subtle way, flip chart paper tends to reduce input as the

group sees the page getting full, which tells them they'd better stop.

Anyway, I begin by talking briefly about models and the many graphical

languages professionals use.   I then begin to draw the group out to describe

the problem.   The problem w/ problem solving is that the full nature of the

problem isn't discussed, described, understood....folks just work w/words.

Building a model show the problem in its full complexity, and from the

individual members' perspectives.

"The solution to the problem is to be found within the problem's structure."

As the model develops, solutions emerge that pinpoint problem areas. As the

group continiues and the model is fleshed out, strategies emerge.

Simiultaneously, the model is constructed, the full nature of the problem is

discerned and solutions/strategies/action steps emerge.   And all the while the

team building is going on.



Trustbuilding, Duane C. Tway, Ph.D., Consultants for Organization Response

and Effectiveness (C.O.R.E.), Better communication through improving trust.

Systems Process Analysis, Duane C. Tway,Ph.D. and Sharon Bauer, Consultants

for Organization Response and Effectiveness (C.O.R.E.), Facilitated mapping

of organizational processes to eliminate bottlenecks and breakdowns.

Reality Referenced Training Systems, Duane C. Tway, Ph.D., Consultants for

Organization Response and Effectiveness (C.O.R.E.), Training systems based on

Performance Development Models and Self-Norming Needs Assessments.


From: (Vicki Siegel)

The methodologies I usually use for problem solving are:

Problem identification, if necessary

Cause and effect model (Ishikawa)

Brainstorming potential solutions or opportuntites

Polling ( using the most appropirate and comfortable technique to arrive at a

consensual "solution")


Polling and More Discussion

Followed by Action Planning For Results




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