The planning for the community building session is almost complete. The last details are how to conduct the plenary sessions for sharing information across groups to develop key priorities and themes that will need to be addressed.
There are 2 sessions that need to be planned. One is to review the work done by intact work teams. In this larger session, the goal is to spot patterns and identify themes that can be used to plan actions. These patterns or themes will come from the stopâ€“continueâ€“start charts developed by each functional group. In this way, not only will the changes that need to happen be identified, but aspects of effective work (those things that work well and should be continued) can also be reinforced.
The external consulting team strongly recommended a “cross-functional, by-level grouping” for the first step. Their aim is to promote understanding of priorities and show how different issues at different levels of the organization can be aligned. The internal consulting team is excited about being the primary facilitators for these sessions. Everyone recognizes that a structured approach will be critical (for timing and to control decisionâ€“making inputs). The approach called Nominal Group Technique (NGT) seems to be ideally suited to this task.
You want to prepare yourself for conducting the session. Use the library, Internet, or other resources to research NGT. Because each grouping will be of a differing size, you want to tailor the overall steps of NGT to the situation you will facilitate.
To do this, you must create a meeting session plan (a document of 4â€“5 pages) that will answer the following questions:
- What is the goal of the session?
- How will the nominal group technique be used to achieve this goal?
- How will the members of the team work together (guidelines for effective participation)?
- What specific steps and tasks will be involved in achieving the goal?
- How much time will be allocated to each step or task? What voting mechanism is most appropriate for the size of the group and the specific stage of the process?
- What will the outcome look like? What will the group present to the other levels?
CROSS FUNCTIONAL (BY LEVEL) SESSION (for end of day one)
GOAL: Organize themes to discuss with total group that identify what we do well and what needs to change. Assign priorities to these themes: their importance at the specific level of organization for which the cross functional team is composed.
Total time available: 2â€“2 Â½ hours.
Process nominal group technique:
o Describe what NGT is and how it works in general terms. On one page, create your facilitator notes for what you will say and show to the group to complete this task.
Present a detailed step-by-step outlineâ€”with time framesâ€”for the group to follow in achieving the overall goal.
o Describe how you would have the team group items together. (One option would be to use colored markers and have people star like items by color. Another might be to have people assign common letters to like items starting a new letter for any new common theme.)
o Based on the choice you made above, would it be an individual task or a controlled group task? The object is to create as much participation and sharing of valid information to increase understanding and build commitment to the overall result.
o These steps will create a list of themes. The following steps will set priorities for all themes that relate to being targets for change.
o What voting method would you use? You can assign each person a certain number of â€•votesâ€– to allocate across the items to set priorities or you can have each person mark each theme with a number or letter that indicates the level of the priorityâ€”for example, the ABC priority approach or HML (high, medium, and low priority) or a 1â€“10 scale where 10 is a key priority and 1 is a very low priority.
o How do you summarize the results to create the top 3â€“5 issues to present to the overall group? Remember, you may need several rounds of â€•voting and discussionâ€– to end up with a few key priorities for action. Estimate how much time each would take and how many rounds you feel are necessary.