Facilitation Team (the hired guys) Feedback to the Client

Posted on by Brandon Klein

The facilitation team provides participants with various kinds of feedback throughout the design process; here, however, we’re addressing a longer block of time set aside for that purpose. This is a large group module; often consisting of a series of short presentations by facilitators or staff; sometimes it takes the form a dialogue (akin to the “Fish Bowl” mode described later). Often the content is an assessment (and reminder) of where we are in the process, of what’s going well, what’s still blocking us, and a general look at the challenges ahead. When used to present staff analysis (for example, of a Scenario or a Why It Won’t Work exercise), this may be accompanied by hand-outs or other visual aids. In our “classic three-day DesignShop,” the feedback module occurs early in Day Two, to facilitate the transition from Scan to Focus.

To “fine tune” the process; to introduce a different perspective or provide new ideas; to reassure participants that the process is on track; to assess where we are on our creative process “road map” and reset to the work ahead.

Variable. A Feedback or analysis / presentation module may be appropriate in any phase of the DesignShop. Typically, these are kept short: 15 - 30 minutes.

Strengths — By declaring a short block of time set aside for feedback, participants are often more willing to listen, without feeling imposed upon (as in, “the facilitators are dominating the process”). Can be used to reiterate and reinforce the axioms of our process, to encourage certain behaviors and interrupt others, without singling out individuals. Reminds a group to be self-aware of its process. Weaknesses — Can provide an opening for participants to vent what they don’t like about the process. Can be a distraction — if the work’s going well, a few short comments between one module and the next should suffice. Specifications for Success — 1 - Don’t let it get “preachy.” State your observations and move on. 2 - Focus your feedback to the areas that will provide the most gain. Give them actionable examples of what you mean.