APMG-International, the provider of specialist qualifications for knowledge-based workers, including PRINCE2® and ITIL®, has launched a new certification scheme in Facilitation skills. Based on methodology written and developed by Tony Mann, director of Strategic Resource Change, the scheme will teach candidates how to design, apply and use specific processes and tools in order to increase the success of programmes and projects.
Facilitation is a professional skill which can be used in the workplace to identify and resolve issues, encourage productive interaction, develop accurate objectives and define the scope of change projects. Good facilitators empower and encourage teams so they get the most out of strategic planning exercises.
According to Tony Mann, effective facilitation helps identify issues and resolve problems through productive interaction. This then defines the scope of projects and allows accurate development of objectives through communication, engaging stakeholders and encouraging team members to contribute. Because project objectives are clarified, constructive solutions can be drawn out of discussions resulting in higher rates of project success. Effective facilitation can make the difference between a solution that has all kinds of hidden problems and one that is robust and can be made to work. It helps people work collaboratively on key issues and also to make fundamental decisions.
APMG’s scheme offers facilitators the opportunity to be trained, assessed and certified in a similar way to project managers with a Foundation qualification and – coming soon – a Practitioner qualification. It offers training organizations the chance to be accredited to offer the new Facilitation courses and qualifications. The Facilitation qualifications complement all other APMG-International certifications as qualified facilitators have skills and methods which can be transferred into any business context, industry or sector.
Comment: Confusion among team members can lead to late, over-budget project delivery. Effective Facilitation could help eradicate this problem.
It’s strange, in this day and age, that formal certification in Facilitation skills is still a novel approach. It’s only the logical progression from developing project management – which has taken some 70 years to get to the PRINCE2 qualification and training in complex project management. Change management is developing too – and Facilitation skills are key in both of these management areas.