FoCuSeD™ Facilitation vs. FAST Facilitation PDF Print E-mail

August 2016 - The FoCuSeD™ Facilitator eNewsletter

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FoCuSeD™ Facilitation vs. FAST Facilitation | Gary Rush Facilitation

In 1983, Chuck Morris, of IBM, trained me on a new concept – Joint Application Design (JAD). JAD facilitation was used for computer system design (IT). In October 1985, Computerworld published an article I wrote, “A Fast Way to Define System Requirements”. I wrote about the various facilitation techniques used to define system requirements, such as JAD. I then created FAST - Facilitation Application Specification Technique - my own structured facilitation technique to teach others “how to”. I named my facilitation technique FAST, after my article.


I created FAST based on JAD concepts of system design. I focused on the mechanics to make it work – preparation, interviewing, logistics, and “how to” conduct three workshops: Problem-solving (based on JAD-Plan), Requirements (based on structured analysis), and Design (based on JAD). As I learned to deal with people, I included some people skills. Over the years, as my facilitation experience grew, I added more processes, such as Strategic Planning, Data Modeling, Process Modeling, etc. I continually revised it until 2001. Throughout, FAST continued to be biased towards IT projects. I had the “what”.

FoCuSeD™ Facilitation exceeds FAST Facilitation

In 2007, I created FoCuSeD™ - Facilitation of Collaborative useful Solutions embracing Diversity - from an epiphany I had at the 2007 IAF North America Conference in Portland, OR. The epiphany came at a session given by Sam Kaner where he explained how groups behave before reaching consensus – they diverge, struggle, and then converge – thank you Sam. This enabled me to understand and explain both “how to” design a thought process introducing proper exercises depending on the needs of the group along with “why”.


I was able to tie together people skills and process skills in one holistic process. As a result, I completely rewrote my class materials around this unique holistic process, added more people skills, specific tools tied to processes, processes covering everything from Strategic Planning and Analysis through Design and Problem-solving, and broadened the class materials beyond IT projects. I also included descriptions of the IAF Core Facilitator Competencies and cover them extensively so that anyone who wishes to pursue an IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF) will have the necessary background. Note: Remember, the only meaningful certification is when competencies are assessed and conferred by a recognized, independent industry association such as the IAF. Be wary of trainers who claim to certify those who attend their classes – this is misleading. Certification is meaningful only to that trainer.

FoCuSeD™ was the answer I was looking for – now I had the “why”, the “how”, and the “what”.

Bottom Line

FoCuSeD™ Facilitation is a far more complete, comprehensive, and effective structured facilitation technique than FAST Facilitation. It gives you:


  • A unique Holistic Facilitation Process design – FoCuSeD™ Holistic Facilitation Process Design – a critical process design that enables you to seamlessly integrate the workshop process to build a product parallel to the emotional group cycle.

  • Guidance when selecting and using processes.

  • Specific People and Process tools.

  • Detailed history of facilitation to help build clear context and foundation.

  • Guidance on “how to” and why use those specific People and Process tools.

  • Orientation towards all aspects of business and life.

  • Helpful virtual workshop guidelines.

  • Detailed descriptions of the IAF Core Facilitator Competencies and how to achieve them.

JAD was enhanced by FAST. FAST was revolutionized by FoCuSeD™ - continuous innovation makes for better solutions. logo


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