Facilitated Workshops

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As information and organization become more complicated, it is no longer sensible to rely on one person to make the necessary decisions. Organizations can benefit from facilitated workshops to make it easier for a large number of people to interact with one another.

In project management, facilitated workshops is a technique that uses focused sessions  to bring cross-functional stakeholders together in order to define product requirements.  It is also an effective way of reconciling the differences of stakeholders.  Also called joint application designs sessions, it focuses on bringing the team the experts together to improve the  project management processes.

The main characteristic of a facilitated workshop is that it is highly interactive. It is a well-facilitated session that fosters trust and improves the communication among each participant. It can also lead to the discovery of underlying issues that can be resolved quicker than individual sessions.

As a specialized meeting with clear objectives, a neutral facilitator is present during the entire process. The facilitator should not have any stake in the outcome of the workshop and should encourage the group to work together in order to achieve the goal. The facilitated workshop is used to solve a problem in the project, build a plan, gather requirements or make decisions. It provides a team-based approach to improve the communication within the team.

It is an extremely effective way to enhance the communication between the stakeholders of the project.  And it is also efficient in managing time compared to one-on-one coaching. It is used as a catalyst for implementing cultural change in a big organization. The reason for this is that it promotes buy-in thus necessitating the empowerment of  participants to take responsibility for their commitments. The group dynamic established in this type of session is very helpful in project management.

This term is defined in the 5th edition of the PMBOK.

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