Facilitation - team work on creating new solutions

Service Business

Collaboration or group work are words often spoken by the majority of employees and employers of companies. Both want the work on the team's project to take place in a creative, friendly atmosphere, so that the effect is satisfactory for both parties. In this article, we will present what facilitation is and how it is used in group work.

Facilitation - what is it?

Facilitation is carrying out the team work process in an effective way. Its purpose is to use the potential of each person in the group. A neutral person, called the facilitator, participates in the facilitation process outside the project group. She is responsible for moderating the meeting, increasing the efficiency of the team's work, and at times when problems and obstacles arise, she supports the team in developing their own solutions.
The facilitator is not the person who gives the group ready-made solutions. It only supports her in creating her own solutions.

The course of work in a group

In the course of cooperation, the group defines the problem, selects the tools and methods that it will use during the execution of the project. The facilitator monitors the work of the team, shows a high level of vigilance, and if necessary, mitigates conflicts arising in the group, caused, for example, by a difference of views.

What are the group's working rules?

Each meeting participant has the same opportunity to comment on a given topic and an equal right to act. It is important that everyone is open to the arguments and ideas of others. Each person should respect the different opinions of colleagues. This heterogeneity of ideas may lead the group to come up with more interesting solutions than in a situation where each of the ideas would be similar.

The main goal of group facilitation

First of all, the aim of facilitation is to support the team in finding answers to the questions they have asked themselves. It is important that the group's work on a given issue is highly efficient and brings the expected results, i.e. that the group achieves its goals.

Facilitation - advantages

List of benefits of using the facilitation process:

  • developing valuable solutions to complex problems

  • use of the knowledge and experience of each team member

  • creative thinking of the group

  • structured meetings

  • new and unique methods of getting out of a difficult situation

  • bonding in a group

  • clear definition of the purpose and area of ​​the project

  • involvement of all participants (proactive attitude)

  • understanding towards other people's ideas

  • working out an uncomplicated solution to a complicated problem

  • high level of project management.

Facilitation - disadvantages

Possible disadvantages of facilitation:

  • it is a time consuming process

  • the problem may arise when a group of people working together do not have enough knowledge to be able to solve the problem (the task is too high for them)

  • the work of an external facilitator involves an additional cost for the organization

  • the work of the internal facilitator may prove ineffective due to the low level of neutrality on his part

  • if during the preparation stage the facilitator does not take care to explain the ambiguities to the group and to outline the purpose of the activity, it may have negative consequences resulting in participants not getting involved in the work

  • when the client and the group with which the facilitator works do not trust each other, the effects of their joint work will not be satisfactory for either party

  • if the facilitator incorrectly carries out the facilitation process, it may appear in the group: the effect of diffuse responsibility, lack of commitment on the part of participants, withdrawal, ridiculing the ideas of others or omitting some people.

When is it worth using the facilitation process?

Facilitation is used as a form of support for the team's work. It is worth applying when the group has a problem to solve, because thanks to the facilitation process, we will first define it together, and then we will move on to creating ways to solve it. Usually there is no recipe for the problem. Using the knowledge, skills and commitment of each person, we are able to better cope with the search for solutions. In a situation where we create a new activity plan, build an action strategy or plan a change, facilitation is useful. It can also be used when we create a new product or service in the company. An area where facilitation is often used is the IT industry. While working in the scrum methodology, the facilitator, i.e. in this case the scrum master, coordinates the meeting of employees and engages them in further work.

It is worth paying attention to the highly positive impact of facilitation on the achievement of goals by teams. By accepting facilitation in our companies, we will give our employees the opportunity to actively participate in the processes related to the creation of new products as well as in joint problem solving and decision making. However, you should be aware of the disadvantages that facilitation has. Most of them can be eliminated thanks to the thorough preparation of the workshop, selecting an appropriate and competent person for the role of facilitator and conducting a facilitated workshop session in accordance with the adopted rules.