Making Employees Productive is Key PDF Print E-mail

June 2015 - The FoCuSeD™ Facilitator eNewsletter



Making Employees Productive is Key | Gary Rush Facilitation


Engagement is the trend in business today. Our FoCuSeD™ Structured Facilitation Technique has evolved to become integral to new methods. Methods such as Agile, Scrum, Six Sigma, Lean, and others all prescribe using facilitated workshops to engage stakeholders achieving significant productivity gains – increasing their ROI as well. These methods are ineffective without properly trained people to facilitate the various workshops – project scoping, requirements elicitation, after action reviews, and others. These depend on the Facilitator understanding "how to" develop effective and useful structured processes along with people tools to stimulate participant involvement ensuring better outcomes.



Facilitation Skills (to make easier) are needed abilities for Business Analysts, Project Leaders, Data Base Architects, Enterprise Architects, Black Belts, Green Belts, Scrum Masters, and others. These skills are not presentation skills. These include an understanding of both People and Process Skills – skills that enable people to work together and skills that enable people to build a product. They require knowing:


  • “How to” assess the situation to incorporate the appropriate process and people tools.

  • “How to” develop a structured agenda incorporating those tools that elicit meaningful ideas from the participants.

  • “How to” incorporate workshops/meetings into the method.

  • “How to” deal with participants who present disruptive behavior – the drop out, the dominator, the attacker, etc.

  • “How to” form the participants into a team.

  • “How to” capture the decisions and input for project deliverables.

Developing these abilities requires thoughtful training that covers dealing with people, preparation, presenting yourself, process design, project integration, conflict management, active listening, effective questioning, decision making, problem solving, etc.




Set the Context. Thoughtful training needs to define the role of facilitation and “how to” effectively incorporate facilitation skills into your role. Many people wear multiple hats – multiple roles – and need to understand “how to” use the skills, “how to” remain neutral when applicable, and “how to” remain focused in their role. We ensure that students understand the value of and “how to” properly conduct a workshop/meeting.


Develop the People Skills. Thoughtful training is learning “how to” understand the participants, their characteristics and how they affect group performance – group dynamics. What it takes to build a team, as well as “how to” assess group performance to ensure that the team exists in a constructive environment. We ensure that students learn “how to” use the appropriate people tools to enhance the performance of the group.


Develop the Process Skills. Thoughtful training shows “how to” develop structured agendas that enable groups to follow and produce the desired outcome in a seamless process. It enables an understanding of structured thought processes – a way of organizing thoughts ensuring that the needed structure is there for decision-making, problem solving, etc. Without these process skills, people cannot guide groups – groups will struggle and break down allowing dominant people to prevail making win-win difficult at best. We ensure that these important structured thought processes get you from point A to Z by incorporating tools to correct group dysfunction and improve creativity.


Practice and Feedback. Thoughtful training requires practice and feedback to perform immediately upon completion.


Benefits of Training Employees


Organizations need to make the most effective use of their resources and human capital is the most important resource an organization has. A return on investment from this thoughtful training is almost immediate. The first meeting or workshop that a student facilitates saves the organization more money than it costs to send a student to our class – that includes salary, tuition, travel, and expenses. The savings to organizations continues to grow because of how their employees can get a group of people to come together, step them through a structured thought process, and accomplish a task.


  • If a Business Analyst makes $100,000 per year, then 8 weeks of requirements gathering costs $15,385. In a 3-day facilitated workshop, the same requirements can be gathered at a cost of $1,154. That means that gathering requirements 8 weeks of requirements in a 3-day facilitated workshop saves over $14,231 for the one Business Analyst. When you include the actual number of Business Analysts along with the clients involved during the 8 weeks to gather requirements the savings are even greater.

  • If an IT project costs $1 million and the requirements phase requires one-third of the effort, then requirements cost $333,000. Using facilitated workshops to gather requirements cuts the time to ¼, saving almost $250,000. That amounts to one-fourth the cost of the project – just for requirements!

  • In addition, because the requirements are consensus-based and more complete, development time is reduced and quality increases adding to the savings.



The FoCuSeD™ Facilitator Academy, by Gary Rush, IAF CPF, MGR Consulting, Inc., provides the required thoughtful training and practice to develop effective facilitation skills providing your workforce with the skills needed to engage in clear communication, problem-solving, decision-making, etc. - making facilitation a way of business, not a collection of tools. You will gain productivity and savings – giving your organization a competitive edge. logo


Contact Gary Rush, IAF CPF, MGR Consulting, Inc. for our FoCuSeD™ facilitator public class dates and information.