Here are some sequentially listed A3 project questions, borrowed from a project approach called A3, that serve as a litmus test for determining the overall health of a project. The answers, or lack thereof, serve as a leading indicator for subsequent meeting focus and areas of exploration for the facilitator.
A3 Project Questions
- (To what extent) can you clearly and succinctly define the “presenting problem”—the actual business issue that is being felt?
- (To what extent) can you show the gap between the target and the current condition?
- (To what extent) did you clarify the optimal business objectives?
- (To what extent) did you isolate the root cause(s) of the main components of the gap?
- (To what extent) did you uncover the substantive (ie, most meaningful) information to support the analysis?
- (To what extent) have you identified the real problem?
- How did you decide to tackle this problem?
- How will you capture and share the learning?
- How will you decide which countermeasures to propose?
- How will you get agreement from everyone concerned?
- How will you know if your countermeasures work?
- To what extent have you engaged other people?
- To what extent have you gathered and verified facts-not just data and anecdotes-to clearly understand the current state?
- What are some possible countermeasures?
- What are the root causes of the problem?
- What do you actually know and how do you know it?
- What follow-up issues can you anticipate?
- What is the business context?
- What is the problem or issue?
- What is the problem?
- What is your implementation plan—who, what, when, where, and how?
- What problems may occur during implementation?
- Who is responsible for this issue?
- Who owns the problem?
- Who owns the process for addressing the problem (or realizing the opportunity or managing the project)?
Additional Help for You
To help you access our in-house resources, (e.g., annotated agendas and templates used in our FAST Professional Facilitation Training) go to the Facilitation Training Store https://mgrush.com/shop/. For a nominal fee, you can now access some our favorite tools, including:
▪ PPT Break Timers for $3.99
▪ Quick, five to ten-minute video lessons on critical topics for $5.99
▪ White papers with additional methodology and team-based meeting support for only $0.99
▪ Holarchy Poster for conference rooms to help resolve arguments
Also consider the book “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need to lead more effective groups, teams, and meetings.
Become Part of the Solution—Improve Your Facilitation and Methodology Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership-training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you’re working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and numerous tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.
- How to Facilitate a Consensual Sphere of Concern, Influence, and Control Using the Bookend Method (mgrush.com/blog)
- How to Facilitate Virtual Meetings: Teleconference and VideoPresence (Part 2 of 3 – During/ Real Time) (mgrush.com/blog)
- How to Help Resolve Business Arguments (mgrush.com/blog)
- How to Manage Breakout Sessions (or, 3 Minute Sub Team Productivity WOW) (mgrush.com/blog)
- Guidelines for Selecting Appropriate Structured Facilitation Tools (mgrush.com/blog)