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Facilitator Development Programme

Background and who should attend?

Using UIMPROVE Facilitators in meetings and projects dramatically improves productivity and effectiveness, and a strategically deployed pool of Facilitators will have a major impact in an organisation. The aim of this programme is to teach participants the UIMPROVE approach to organisational improvement and provide them with the knowledge and skills to facilitate this. The UIC has more than 15 years experience of training and coaching people to undertake this role in a wide variety of organisations.

The Facilitator Development Programme is specifically designed for people who will have to take up a formal Facilitator role in meetings or projects. It is a 7-day programme in a 3-day + 2-day + 2-day format. The period between each module is roughly 5-6 weeks and this allows participants to gain experience of using what they have learned for real between the modules. Modules 2 and 3 incorporate review and planning for real pieces of work.

The role of Facilitator is usually a 'part-time' activity, taken on in addition to the 'day job'.

Parallel activity

We have found that training up line managers in these skills alongside creating a pool of Facilitators to help them with tricky or complex meetings and projects produces the best results. Courses such as Universal Improvement Skills and the Strategic Improvement Programme teach line managers to use the skills in their everyday work including meetings and projects and also how to make best use of Facilitators.

Want the skills without the formal role?

Note especially that this programme is only for people who will be able to take on the formal role of Facilitator in addition to their 'day job'. Due to the nature of the content - in particular the requirement to carry out formal facilitation assignments - it is not suitable for people solely looking for a developmental opportunity.

The UIMPROVE definition of facilitation

The UIMPROVE definition contrasts with many others that focus on the 'soft' side of group dynamics. Our broadest definition of facilitation comprises three main areas:

(1) Structure - this means being able to put in place a good structure in a meeting or project to achieve whatever it is a group wants to do. Poor structure makes for poor group working.
(2) Tools and techniques - this means having a repertoire of alternatives to just sitting around a table talking about things. Lack of tools and techniques also leads to poor group working.
(3) Group working skills.

We have found that traditional 'facilitation skills' place all the emphasis on group working skills and this is simply not enough. All the best intentions in the world do not lead to change and improvement. What does is having a good structure and a facilitated, participative approach.

We have also found that the traditional approach to facilitation is very reactive - Facilitators turn up on the day, sprinkle some group working magic dust and then disappear. A UIMPROVE Facilitator will employ a 'before', 'during' and 'after' approach. Careful planning means that the meeting or project is well structured and suitable tools are identified in advance. Review means that lessons are learned and actions are carried out.

What are the benefits of having a pool of Facilitators in an organisation?


The resource can be aligned with organisational strategy and focused where the greatest need/return is
Illustrates top management commitment to improvement

The rate of improvement

Creates a 'critical mass' for improvement
Increases organisational capacity and the rate of improvement
Builds on and supports the work done through other UIMPROVE training courses
An internal resource is better for continuity and follow up

Developing the organisation

Taps into and develops the talent in the organisation
Promotes organisational learning
The skills are developed and retained within the organisation
Ensures a more structured approach to projects
Improves meetings
The skills are transferable to the 'day job'
Use of the skills is 'contagious' - they will spread through the organisation

Developing individuals

Gives individuals a broader view of the organisation through involvement in projects
Increases job satisfaction
Today's Facilitators are tomorrow's senior managers and directors


Costs less than external provision
The cost of training is soon recouped in the benefits the resource brings to the organisation

What your Facilitators will be able to do

Facilitate Annual Planning

Convert organisational strategy into departmental or team objectives
Identify and prioritise things to be done in the next 12 months
Produce a departmental or team plan
Scope and produce a remit for each resulting project

Facilitate project teams

Identify and follow a project methodology
Break the project down into component tasks and produce a project plan
Use tools and techniques
Ensure balanced participation

Facilitate a Project Kick-Start

Get a project off to the best possible start
Obtain a wide range of involvement
Use a structured approach and tools and techniques to ensure balanced participation
Carry out scoping and initial planning
Get alignment from all involved

Facilitate a Project Refocus

For projects that have stalled, had a change of leader or reached an important junction
Obtain a wide range of involvement
Use a structured approach and tools and techniques to ensure balanced participation

Facilitate a Project Review

Use a structured approach and tools and techniques to review and learn lessons from a completed project

Facilitate a Process Analysis Event

Use a structured approach and analytical tools (specifically an Ishikawa Diagram and Deployment Flowchart) to understand and analyse an existing process.

Facilitate a Customer Involvement Event

This is very similar in format to a Project Kick-Start, the difference being that the participants are customers.

Facilitate meetings (regular or one-off)

Critique and improve an existing meeting
Help plan the agenda
Use tools and techniques
Ensure balanced contribution


Click here for the Facilitator Development Programme Briefing Note.

Click here for the How to Select Facilitators Briefing Note.

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