Roles and Duties of the Process Facilitator
from Network E-mails contributed by Frances
Gillard, Gail Taylor, Patsy Kahoe, Jon Foley
Introduction: What's What and Who's Who
Both the Key Facilitator
and the Process Facilitator manage the
7 Domains but from different vantage
points. The Key Facilitator catalyzes the work of the participants
in a DesignShop® event
or Workshop, while the Process Facilitator catalyzes the work of the KreW
in support of the participants. The Process Facilitator also coordinates
the facilitation of the Key Facilitator.
The Role of Process Facilitation in the Enterprise in General
Before the advent of the personal computer and local/wide area networks,
organizations used administrative personnel to support the work of management
teams and other work units. The idea was to relieve these teams of the
necessity of performing a wide variety of highly technical skills associated
with information management, such as filing, typing, telephoning. I used
the phrase "highly technical" in a very exact way. Secretaries
performed many tasks that executives could not perform efficiently and
with precision. Witness the mess that most executives produce of filing
systems. Administrative assistants brought a level of organization and
a different kind of thinking to the executive and work team environment,
complementing the strategic and analytic thinking of the executive and
work team with the global thinking skills of the administrative assistant.
Sharp executives gave their assistants wide latitude in decision-making
and providing for the support of smooth operations and logistics. These
assistants also facilitated access to their bosses and served as time
and information management consultants. Good administrative assistants
documented events (meetings, conversations, the dictation of thoughts),
maintained the central Knowledge-base, handled distribution, gathered
and organized feedback, participated in the design of follow-on events
and prepared the read-ahead material for the next round of meetings. Knowledge
Workers in the MG Taylor network will recognize this cycle as the Ten
Step Knowledge Management Model.
Today, the role of administrative assistant is being overhauled, often
with disastrous results when they are thoughtlessly eliminated. Many business
people mistook the tools of administrative administration for the role.
Now that many executives are comfortable with using computers to handle
filing, messaging and scheduling, they mistakenly look at the old administration
role as outdated, redundant, and disposable.
Unfortunately, they eliminated two elements vital to the success of the
enterprise; (1) a capability to facilitate the management of information,
and (2) an informal political network that contributed to the homeostasis
of the enterprise--smoothing out the bumps.
At MG Taylor Corporation, we've rejuvenated the role of information facilitator
through the concept of a KreW of Knowledge Workers who are highly skilled
in the processing and manufacture of messages--converting them into information
by assigning value and meaning to them--and in the distribution and tracking
of this information to aid in the rapid design and implementation of highly
The KreW facilitates and catalyzes the participants who are engaged in
the creative design process. The Process Facilitator is a KreW member
who facilitates and catalyzes the actions of the KreW.
Relationships Between the Players
Below is a diagram showing all of the players in the Process Facilitator's
game. Following that is a table describing each of the players and the
relationship they have with the Process Facilitator.
For a description of the glyphs and symbols used in
this diagram, refer to the Business
of Enterprise model glyphs.
||Role and Relationship With Process Facilitator (PF)
|Client Relationship Team
||Manages the relationship with the client and client
sponsor; leads in the design of the process; guides the participants
through the process. The PF and Key Facilitator may work very closely
on the selection of KreW, the design of the event, and special considerations
for logistics. Sometimes the PF prepares a straw dog design of the
event in advance of the Walk Thru.
||The key stakeholder in the engagement of the client
with the DesignShop event. Participates in the development of the
design during the Sponsor Session (Discovery
Day) and the Walk
Thru. The PF may not have any direct work
to do with the Client Sponsor, and usually works through the Client
Logistics person instead.
||The representative from the client who makes the
travel and other logistics arrangements for the participants. Sometimes
this individual will make hotel reservations for KreW, but usually
this is covered by the Local Center Logistics person, or the Super
KWIB. The PF, however, should ensure that the Client Logistics person
receives accurate and timely information concerning the event's
location, dates, times, and participants.
||The master event coordinator and repository for
event information in the network. Maintains connections with local
center KWIB's and in the case of RDS deployments, may play the role
of Local Center Logistics. The PF copies this individual on all
||If the event will be held in a hotel or other facility
that does not have a permanent Management Center, then a Rapid Deployment
System® environment will be delivered and set up. The individual
responsible for transporting, erecting and dismantling the RDS
environment is the Coordinator. Handles all aspects of the RDS including
coordination with the hotel. During an RDS, the PF or the Super
KWIB may play the role of Local Center Logistics with the hotel
|Local Center Logistics Lead
||If the DesignShop event is being held in some existing
Management Center environment, that center usually provides a representative
to work with the KreW on an ad-hoc basis to manage logistics for
the session, including catering, supplies, and lodging. This individual
may occasionally be the local center KWIB as well. The PF should
ensure that this individual receives timely information concerning
the event and should monitor progress in this area as well.
||Maintains a list of all MG Taylor Network members
and their past work and skills. Also keeps track of the monthly
availability of network members through the use of "Bird Calls."
Assists the PF in the selection of the KreW for the event based
on availability and skill mix.
||Handles the disbursement of fees and expenses for
the individuals involved in the event as well as any direct costs
related to the event. The PF should ensure that all KreW members
submit projected expense information before the event and expense
reports within 10 days following the event.
||A designated individual who will coordinate the
fulfillment of a certain type of activity during the event. Each
KreW Lead will have individuals who volunteer to work on their team,
but these people will frequently be assigned to work on other teams
as well. So the KreW Lead handles the management function for his
or her area but is not a manager in the traditional sense of the
word. Again, they facilitate the completion of the work. The PF
usually selects and designates the KreW Leads. Some of the areas
that may require leads include: Knowledge Wall, Writing, Graphics,
Video, Documentation, Environment, Logistics, Production (Physical
and Electronic) and Music.
||The PF usually selects his or her KreW along with
input from Scheduling and the Key Facilitator. KreW members are
the producers in the Information Factory that we call a DesignShop
process, thereby facilitating the work of the participants. KreW
members are categorized by experience into several categories: Explorer,
Novice, Journeyman, Speaker
Before a DesignShop or Workshop
- KreW Selection
- Select the KreW based on budget guidelines and working with the
STEW team on scheduling and the Key Facilitator.
- Select the KreW with a proper mix of skills (KreW Leads are very
important here) and levels of experience. A mix of 1/3 experienced
(Speaker/Journeyman), 1/3 moderately experienced (Novices), and
1/3 inexperienced (Explorers--first time out) seems to work well
and also provides for the growth of the network. The combination
of people makes the team, and this is more than just skills, dollars
and experience. "An ant is no thing. An ant hill is something
- Emphasize the selection of local KreW members if the event is
at a Management Center or KnOwhere store. At least 1/3 of the team
should be local.
- Make sure KreW communicate information with the Process Facilitator,
Key Facilitator, Patsy, Gail and Jon copied. If the information
is financial, RK should be copied as well.
- Accommodations and Logistics
- Send out accommodation and logistical information a few days before
the KreW travels. Include dates and times of departure, address
and phone numbers of hotels, special information for getting to
and from the airport, amenities and facilities that the hotel does
or does not have (hair dryers, irons, exercise rooms, etc.), check-in
and check-out times.
- If we're selecting the hotel for the participants, make sure the
Client Logistics Contact knows the proper information to facilitate
their end of planning.
- Ensure that the planning for catering has been done.
- Sponsor Session (Discovery Day)
- Plan on attending!
- Arrange for logistics and the environment to be in place. If the
Sponsor Session is conducted at the client's offices, it may be
possible to ship in a set of WorkWall units. Otherwise, flip
charts and other conventional equipment can be substituted.
- Provide a documentor, computer, printer access, and a video camera
with tripod to capture the session.
- Prepare name tags, wall copy templates, and other prep items.
- Ensure that someone is handling invitations, food, and hotels.
This individual may be the Client Logistics person, or the Super
- After the Sponsor Session, pass along information concerning the
event to the rest of the KreW, compose and distribute a straw dog
design of the event, make any special assignments or expectations
for KreW Leads.
- Orientation, Walk Thru and Prep
- It may be necessary or desirable to hold an orientation for KreW,
especially if a number of them are new. There are several well-designed
precedents for this. See this article.
This can range from a few hours to an entire day in length and may
offer opportunities for individuals to learn and practice different
skills. Orientations must be included in the budget and approved
by RK and the Key Facilitator.
- Ensure that during the Walk Thru the KreW is attuned to new assignments
that may restructure the team.
- Facilitate the preparation for Day One of the event.
During the event
- Run like hell to keep up! Very few people in the session will have
the vantage point or perspective that you do. You're free to wander
around and sample all sorts of happenings and work as they're being
done. You're in the best position to formulate the questions that KreW
members need to help them anticipate future demands, or adjust behavior
and performance to match changing specifications.
- Assemble the KreW first thing each day and when the participants leave
each night for a circle-up. Pull them together at other times as necessary
to give them the big picture. This is especially critical when the design
and schedule begin shifting or when large logistics demands are going
to be made (wall copy of take-a-panel exercises, set-up and tear down
of tables and chairs).
- Make sure that the Key Facilitator knows what they need to know about
the condition of preparedness for upcoming modules or demand for specific
products or information during the session.
Following the event
- Check to ensure KreW members know to submit expense forms to RK
- Give performance feedback to the Explorers on your KreW
- Give the KreW feedback forms to complete, which should be returned
to you within a week of the conclusion of the event.
- Journal and Work Product
- If there is a Journal to be produced, follow it through to confirmation
of receipt by participants and KreW. Report this confirmation to
the Key Facilitator. You should be the one to give the master copy
of the Journal a "go" before it goes to the printer or
to be pressed on CD.
- Support the efforts of both the Journal and Work Product teams
to whatever degree is necessary. These efforts, however, are usually
- After Action Report
- Prepare an after-action report from the session of lessons learned,
or describing some new technique, process or tool that other PF's
might find interesting and valuable. Send this report via E-mail
to the network. Some reports are published online in the Journal
of Transition Management.
- write a short wrap-up (outcomes/stories/learnings/)
to add to the pre-event information posted on the
event calendar on the
website to bring the site to closure. Include data
like the final number of participants, final crew,
journal and work product information.
copyright © 1997, MG Taylor Corporation
and Gail Taylor. All rights reserved
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