Facilitation Canvas

I created the Facilitation Canvas as a tool to help facilitators prepare to run a session. We use it as part of our ICAgile team facilitator course. The canvas is made up of 8 boxes, each with an associated set of prompt questions that I have found work well as a guide when filling it out.

 

Purpose  

  • What are we looking to achieve?
  • Are we trying to make a decision, brainstorm options, or align?
  • What are the implications if we don’t achieve this purpose?

 

People

  • Who needs to be part of this session and what is their role?
  • Do we have all the right people to achieve our purpose?
  • What is the size of the group? Will they know one another?
  • Can you be the neutral facilitator?

 

Inputs

  • What inputs (e.g. data, SMEs, insights, prototypes) need to be brought along to the session for background and discussion?

 

Agenda

  • How will we structure the session? consider the following 6 steps:

#1 Open (Set context, confirm and agree purpose)

#2 Background (establish data and facts)

#3 Discussion (focus on the group’s opinions and views)

#4 Ideas (what are the opportunities and options)

#5 Actions (agree decisions and next steps)

#6 Close

 

Environment

  • How will you create the environment in which the participants can achieve their desired purpose?
  • What techniques / exercises will help facilitate the session?
  • How should the physical environment be set up?
  • What materials will you need?

 

Outcomes

  • What are the outcomes needed to make the session a success?
  • What difference needs to be achieved to reach the agreed purpose (e.g. alignment, consensus, prioritisation)?
  • How will you as the facilitator know if the outcomes have been met?

 

Outputs

  • What physical outputs / deliverables are expected to be produced in this session?

 

Pitfalls

  • What could hinder the session?
  • What are potential problems with the group you are engaging?
  • What could prevent them from achieving their purpose ?

 

So how do you use it?

Here’s how I use it when I’m preparing to facilitate a session.

  1. Download a pdf copy of the Facilitation Canvas (alternatively Download a copy with transparent prompts for more space to make facilitation notes)
  2. Print in out in A3 (that’s Tabloid or Ledger for you people in the North of America!)
  3. Work through the canvas with your stakeholders as you prepare to facilitate your session – this is where the questions come in handy.

 

Now it’s your turn

If you use the Facilitation Canvas – I’d love to hear about your experiences and feedback

Anthony Boobier