Facilitation

Attention: Business Analysts, Project Managers and other Change Professionals

Facilitation Skills Programme for Project Professionals


Build on your experience with groups to develop your creative collaboration skills at our Facilitation Skills Programme for Project Professionals:

  • Save time in preparation, yet be more effective.
  • Get things done without line management authority.
  • Make your project meetings, even virtual ones, work even better.
  • Engage stakeholders, your project team and even the public.
  • Stay cool, calm and effective with high pressure situations and senior participants.
  • Deal fairly and effectively with both dominant and quiet participants.
  • Find ways to resolve conflict that don’t hide from the real issues.
  • Be recognised for the value you bring.

Announcing our flagship event on 28th and 29th November 2017

If you are ready to book, you can do so online here, otherwise read on.

Which of these challenges do you have right now?

  • More and more is expected of you.
  • Engaging stakeholders is critical and without this, you will fail.
  • Your time is more precious than ever.
  • You need to deliver more quickly and more flexibly than ever before.
  • Projects are more complex and ambiguous than ever.
  • It’s hard to get access to the resources you need to do your job.
  • Teams are often virtual, split up and spread out geographically.
  • You need to influence and negotiate effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • There is huge pressure on the team to deliver in short sprints – you have to work together well.

Being involved in change is tough, isn’t it?

At the same time, meetings and workshops, some of them virtual, lie at the heart of the work you do with your project team and stakeholders. Are they really the best use of your valuable time at the moment?

Nine Project Problems You’ll Leave Behind:

1. ‘I spend so much time in meetings that I don’t have time to do my other work.’

Meetings can be so much more effective! Save up to a third of your time in meetings, through really powerful preparation, leaving more time for you to do your work. You’ll learn the right questions to ask when people want you to attend their meetings too.

2. ‘In my organisation, people usually aren’t sure why they have been asked to a meeting. We often take 15 minutes at the start waiting for people to arrive and more time talking about what we want to cover.’

You’ll learn how to have a clear structure and purpose so that people know where they need to be, by when and why. You’ll be able to start off your meeting or workshop strongly with everyone knowing exactly what they are there to do.

Starting up the day

3. ‘I don’t have line management authority over the project team or stakeholders. This makes getting things done rather complicated!’

The skills that you’ll practise on this course won’t just help with meetings and workshops. They provide ways for you to get the most out of your colleagues, in ways that motivates them to do their best for your project.

4. ‘One or two people usually dominate the meeting, whereas others are quiet and speak up only when it’s too late.’

You’ll learn and practise tools and techniques to get the right information from everybody at the right time. We’ll look at ways to bring out and handle conflict, as well as drawing out those who feel they can’t air their thoughts. We will think about designing meetings and workshops that suit both extroverts and introverts.

5. ’Actions just don’t get done!’

By using our methods to create and record actions, people will be much more committed to carrying them out. You’ll learn a technique so that agreed actions are already documented when you leave the room!

6. ‘How do I deal with stakeholders? They are so many different types and I have no control over them!’

The skills that you’ll practise on this course will help you to deal with a range of stakeholders in ways that encourages their involvement and motivates them.

7. ‘It’s hard to get to a decision. Our meetings tend to turn into talking shops.’

You’ll learn techniques that work when making decisions with groups.

8. ‘Our project team is spread across several sites and we can’t often get together for face-to-face meetings.’

We’ll cover virtual meetings and conference calls too. You’ll find the visual tools particularly effective for engaging remote participants.

9. ‘I hate to say so, but our meetings are often so dull that I can’t remember what I spent the last three hours doing!’ 

Don’t worry! We’ll show you appropriate ways to make your meetings easy to recall. Even the most complex workshops can be brought to life, with the use of visual tools and careful preparation.

On the floor

Meet the project facilitator who will guide you through the two days:

Dr Penny Pullan

PennyPullan4small.jpg

With a successful track record in project management, business analysis, training and facilitation in blue chip multi-nationals over 20 years, Penny runs Making Projects Work Ltd.

Penny is well known for her innovative, yet practical methods, which make meetings and projects come alive. Her flair for generating ideas and really getting people on-side is pure gold. She’s written about project facilitation in her first book with Ruth Murray-Webster: ‘A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management’ and also in her book co-edited with James Archer, ‘Business Analysis and Leadership: Influencing Change’. Her chapter on virtual project facilitation is included in ‘The Gower Handbook of People in Project Management’. Her latest book ‘Virtual Leadership: Practical Strategies for Getting the Best Out of Virtual Work and Virtual Teams’ came out in 2016. In it, she shows how facilitation and facilitative leadership are effective ways to engage with remote colleagues.
Penny's books

Penny has given business analysts and project managers all over the world the confidence to facilitate even tricky project workshops through her work. Her very visual style and relaxed, facilitative support will grown your confidence too.

Penny is an experienced Project Manager and Business Analyst, certified as PMP and has passed both PRINCE2 and MSP Practitioner. Her success stories range from creating global business processes through to working with the UN, governments and industry to reduce child labour on cocoa farms. More recently, she’s proud of the results that members of her virtual mentoring groups have achieved, as Outstanding Outsiders. Penny is also a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF), who runs the full range of meetings and workshops from vision to project reviews, as well as government consultations. Her PhD is from Cambridge and she is a Chartered Engineer.

Penny says, ‘I’ve worked with corporate, government and charitable clients in the UK and abroad, and enjoy seeing how much satisfaction business analysts and project managers gain from really effective meetings and projects.’

She will make sure you will too.

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What happens before the workshop:

Assessment and Understanding of your individual Context

Penny will spend time with you virtually to understand the context of the work you do and to assess your current competencies around working with groups before the workshop. She’ll use our Facilitation Skills Self-assessment tool to measure where you are now and to find out how you’d like to develop through the course and beyond. You’ll also pick an upcoming piece of work or meeting to focus on during the workshop.

Engaged participants

What we’ll cover together on our two days face-to-face:

What works for us already:

We’ll start by listening to everyone’s objectives and exploring how we’ll work together as a group. We’ll explore what already works in our meetings, calls, interviews and workshops.

And then we’ll continue:

  •  Exploring what great groups have. What can we aspire to?
  •  Understanding how teams form: introducing some useful models for projects (no psychobabble).
  •  Deciding what roles we need in various types of meeting? What is a facilitator? What other roles should we use?
  •  Preparating: how to be really effective in the shortest possible time.

Working with people:

  • Exploring how to start up a meeting, interview or workshop for maximum success.
  • Getting input from all, not just a few,
  •  Understanding and handling conflict, positively.
  • Handling our own stress levels so we can serve the group. How to work through conflict to gain a better solution.
  •  Making decisions in a group, managing different perpectices and dealing with additional complexity, such as hierachy.
  • Bringing a group to real consensus around, say, requirements.
  • Negotiating and influencing others.
  •  Problem solving in a group.
  •  Building trust and commitment without line authority.
  •  Engagine with your stakeholders, even if you need to challenge them.
  • Deciding when to intervene to get your meeting or project back on track, and when not to.
  • Choosing creative ways to get results.
  • Making it work when your group isn’t together: conference calls, videos and on-line meetings.

Participants will practice in their own context: working on examples from your own experience and projects, returning to work with your own action plan in place.

We’ll review what other help is out there too.

Putting it all together with:

Chances to practice skills and review your learning in a positive, supportive, safe environment. Developing the confidence to behave differently on your return to work.
Linking your learning to the work that you do, so you can apply it immediately on your return.
 Find out a host of ways to make a positive impact on your meetings, workshops, interviews and project/business relationships.

You’ll finish with tons of practical skills, together with ideas and plans for your meetings, workshops, projects and engaging your stakeholders.

action planning

Note: because the course is tailored to suit each individual, it has been useful for people looking for an advanced facilitation course after many years experience and also to people who are starting out on their careers. Most attendees have had many years of project experience with varying levels of facilitation skill.

Date and Location: Radisson Hotel, East Midlands, 28th -29th November 2017

How much longer can you put this off? Reserve your place today.

[An alternative: In house courses – tailored to your organisation
Does this sound great, but you’d like to tailor the course to fit your own exact requirements or perhaps you have six or more people to train? We often work with organisations to deliver a tailored version of this course on their own premises.
Contact us directly at [email protected] or 44 (0)1509 821691.]

Don’t just take our word for it…
Here are the great things that people say:

‘I’ve gone from feeling uncomfortable, especially in unfamiliar groups, to feeling more secure. I used to try to avoid facilitation if possible, but now I’m willing to try out what I’ve learned and continue learning. The inspiring and safe environment to practise worked well for me, along with the great trainer/facilitator.’
Irena Jansone, Senior Business Analyst
Read Irena’s blog on her experience: The reality exceeded all my expectations…

‘Would I recommend this course to others? Yes, most definitely.’
John, Business Analyst Contractor, BBAI Ltd.

‘Before the course, I was doing the best I could but lacked creativity and confidence. Now I feel very inspired, but it will be a challenge to bring it into practice.’
Frauke Neels, Product Manager, SD WORX

‘The best bit? Meeting lots of interesting people with lots of experience and energy that they’re willing to share. It’s an excellent course and you’ll get a lot out of it.’
Contract Business Analyst

Paul and Susie on the workshop

‘I liked the interaction, the visuals and the fact there were no PowerPoint slides. If everyone attended the course, we would be so productive and reduce meeting time! I feel I can make a difference to my meetings, which will hopefully rub off on others.
Jacquie Prince, Project Management Training Manager, Quintiles

‘What went well for me? Lots of practice and interaction. It was brilliant to get so much feedback – food for thought. I’ve gone from lacking confidence and feeling daunted by thoughts of senior management conflict or disapproval to feeling that I have a better understanding of my own and others’ behaviours. I feel more accepting of conflict and able to transfer the spotlight [from myself to the group]. I was surprised by insights into my own use of language and behaviour and our company culture… If you are thinking of coming, then be prepared to run sessions and get stuck in!
Melanie Rose, Business Change Programme Manager, Totaljobs Group

‘There are lots of opportunities to see techniques and ideas in a safe environment, with a great set of people. I’ve gone from feeling overwhelmed/nervous about facilitating to having an appetite to try out ideas. I used to feel there is a right way and a wrong way, but that’s not true. Facilitation is like learning to drive. It takes time for it to be effortless.
Simon Dawson, Consultant Business Analyst, Oneworks Ltd.

‘I’m now relaxed and comfortable with guiding groups, where I used to be apprehensive and daunted by running facilitation workshops in projects. What worked well for me? We formed a great team and became good friends during the course. I found the content and review techniques were great, style of delivery fantastic! I’d recommend it to others.’
Paul Panton, Project Manager for Barnados (recipient of our 2013 Charity Bursary)

‘The best bit? Meeting lots of interesting people with lots of experience and energy that they’re willing to share. It’s an excellent course and you’ll get a lot out of it.’
Contract Business Analyst

‘After the workshop, I definitely feel more comfortable to try new things and take some risks… If you are thinking of coming, just get on with it and book a place!’
Lyndsey Oliver, Coach and Facilitator, Bolt from the You

Steve and Paul

‘Before coming, I felt reasonably proficient in facilitation, but always tended to stay within my comfort zone. Now I feel more confident in different techniques and where to apply them. I’m willing to be more creative. The interactive and participatory nature of the course worked well for me. I’d definitely recommend the course – it’s a unique experience but you only get out what you put in. If you come, be prepared to have fun.’
Steve Mudford, Director, Perspective Consulting Ltd and experienced Business Analyst.

‘I used to feel that facilitation was nerve-wracking! Now I feel much more confident about the various techniques I could employ and the various scenarios I could face. What would I say to someone thinking of coming? ‘You have to do it!”
Ekwy Nnene, Business Analyst, Chookz Consulting

‘It’s an incredibly valuable, inspiring and resourcing two days!’
Jo Whitehead, St John’s College, Nottingham

‘It was a great refresh, inspiration to get more creative again, very organised, professional, all the materials etc – it all went well for me. What would I say to someone coming? It stretches you, gives you great ideas, brings out your creative facilitation side. Personally I loved the calls upfront and the webinar. It keeps it alive and holds you to account!’
Lou Banks, Director, BFTY Ltd.

‘It’s practical, it’s fun, it’s worth the investment’ Ruth Murray Webster, Director, Lucidus Consulting Ltd and project management author.

‘What went well for me? I liked the variety, the content and the practice over the two days. I used to think that facilitation was important but I didn’t have ideas about how to make meetings more interesting and powerful. Now I know more techniques and tools and I see how preparation helps. If you are thinking of coming, you’ll have a great time and a reminder how facilitation is important plus practical tools, templates and feedback.
Magdalena, Totaljobs Group

‘What went well for me? The constructive feedback.
I used to feel daunted and less confident, but now I feel more aware and more confident. Yay! What would I say to others: ‘Go for it, the cost of not going is definitely greater than the cost of going!”
Mercy, Business Analyst Consultant

‘What went well for me? Everything! It was well paced, directed and tailored to the group – so much more than ‘just’ facilitation. After the course, I feel confident that I can ‘let go’ and ensure the group ‘own’ the problem. Before, I used to feel nervous unless in control or in a safe zone. I’d say it is a must in your professional development. ’
Alex Papworth, Freelance BA and BA mentor.

Alex and Susie facilitating

‘I used to feel slightly nervous about facilitation on projects and low on energy. Now I feel more confident. I’m looking forward to using the new techniques.
Malcolm Peacock, Scrum Master, TJG

‘Thank you Penny, I really did enjoy it! You handled us perfectly.’
Sophie Kayani, Client Support Manager, Bolt

‘Do your meeting attendees think your meetings could be better? If so, come. What worked well for me? Understanding different models that relate to facilitation and getting practical tools I can use.’ Andy, Director of Delivering Innovation Ltd.

‘What went well? Everything! If you come, you’ll enjoy it, learn a lot, have fun and it’s not embarassing.’ Peter Simon, Director, Lucidus Consulting Ltd and project management and risk expert.

‘What went well for me? I found the practice sessions very valuable – equally when facilitating and being facilitated. I feel much better equipped to do a good job now. It was a very valuable course and well worth attending. In fact, I would probably attend again at a later date.’
Beverley Youdan, Bay Coaching and Development

‘This course will be particularly useful if you do a lot of workshops and you want to explore creative approaches.’
Rob, Business Analyst Contractor

‘Thinking of coming? Go and explore! I recommend it.’
Tom Haeck, Product Manager, SDWORX

‘I’ve gone from feeling engulfed by project meetings to feeling more empowered!’
James Marchant

‘Great course leaders/facilitators. Lots of opportunities to practice.’
Lisa Talifero, Director, EngagementWorks Ltd.

‘Group dynamic was good and encouraged. Practical nature also meant learning by doing/experience – excellent.’
Jon Bugge, Project Manager, Save the Children

‘I liked the ahas, lots of practice, safe environment, nice number
Maduri Rajkumar, HR Services Manager

‘[The course] was really good… Penny is a fantastic trainer and I got so many good ideas from her.’
Ruth Jones, Volunteer Development Manager

‘I really valued the opportunity to try things out in a safe environment and have genuine feedback on my facilitation skills’
Lucy Oakshott, Save the Children UK

‘I found the whole experience so professional right from the invitation through to the course. It far exceeds the experience I’ve ever had with other training.’
Lisa Talifero

‘An opportunity to learn about models/techniques to help improve my practical experience.’
Joanna Swiers, Corporate Impact Co-ordinator

How did they feel after the course?

I’ve gone from feeling that meetings were a necessary evil (slightly out of control) to having a stepping stone with energy that can be channelled.
Very excited about trying out the new approaches and techniques I have learned.

I’ve gone from feeling nervous about project meetings to being excited to try new things.

I feel better equipped and more confident.

What do they say to you?

Do it! Recognise it as a skill that needs training.
I recommend it.

Be prepared to get involved. You will have a great time and you will learn some great techniques. Watch and learn from the way the course leaders facilitate. They are excellent at it.

If you want a set of tools to help improve your projects/meetings/facilitation – Sign Up!

Go go go!!

You would love it. You would be surprised how much you can do already and how rich your resources are.

Go and do it, do not stop for anything, the sooner the better. You’ll feel better equipped and more confident.

Don’t think twice, just book it and enjoy!

Definitely go for it. It is a unique experience.

Who else do we work with?

Our clients include:

Old Mutual Wealth

Carlsberg

Barclaycard

TotalJobs Group

Roche

Hampshire Constabulary

Cmed Group

Informa Middle East

Gantthead USA

Lucidus Consulting

Novo Nordisk

Bridge Partners

Cogent Skills

IRR

TwentyEighty Strategy Execution (UK) limited

Go Language

PWC

Samaritans Purse International

Save the Children

Barnados

NHS

Agile Experience Ltd

Sellafield Sites

Wilson Sherriff Ltd.

Zenergy (New Zealand)

Redvespa (New Zealand)

Xelocity (New Zealand)

UK government

Ash Shaw LLP

Wingivers

Virgin Media

Skandia

British Gymnastics

Helmsley Fraser (for Rolls Royce)

Fidelity

BA Mentor

Assure UK

Trexsol (Middle East)

AstraZeneca

Capital One

Cummins Turbo Technologies

Johnson & Johnson

RWE npower

National Grid

Pearson Education

ESI International

A major FMCG Multinational

A major Pharma company (Switzerland)

Manchester University

Sheffield Hallam University

The Open University

and more

What you can expect from the Workshop:

Practical, pragmatic tips from an experienced business analyst/project manager: We know what works and what doesn’t.
Too often, ‘soft’ skills trainers don’t understand the work of projects and programmes leading change. Penny does.

Support before, during and after the workshop: You’ll be able to assess your own competencies in Facilitation using our Facilitation Self Assessment Tool. In addition, you can plan with Penny what you’d like to get out of the course and she’ll tailor your experience to meet that. You’ll have access to our Online Learning Environment, to support you in your preparation beforehand and the consolidation of your skills afterwards. This includes one-to-one support from Penny on all the topics we cover as you put the skills back into practice in your workplace.

Practice the skills as you learn: You’ll get lots of opportunities to practice as you learn throughout the two days. By the end of the course, you will have tried out the skills and be ready to use them on your own projects.

Group working around a table
A relaxed and friendly environment: We believe that people learn most when they are enjoying themselves and feel supported and safe. We positively encourage discussion and the sharing of ideas and feedback during the course. People learn from each other and from the huge variety of project experience in the room.

No Death By Slides: Penny will use her facilitation skills to keep you engaged and interested. Penny is unlikely to use any PowerPoint at all! Where it’s appropriate, we use graphical techniques to capture what people say on huge sheets of paper to support even more effective communication and design sessions so that the group capture their own outputs:

Taking action

Tailored to your needs:  We limit the size of the group to no more than eight participants, so you’ll get plenty of time to try out facilitating the group. You’ll receive individual written feedback from Penny. This small number though means that our once-a-year workshops tend to sell out.

We ban ‘psycho-babble’ from our courses: jargon gets in the way. We translate the most useful concepts and models so that you don’t have to learn a whole new language to use them.

You can expect to leave with practical tools that you can apply straight away. These are tried and tested – we have used all of these in projects to make sure you get just what you need.

Make progress on your project while you’re on the course: We’ll be working on your own real examples (if you wish) so you’ll have moved your project on.

We realise that life as a project professional is busy, and that it is all too easy to fall back into old ways of working on your return. We provide a range of ways to support your learning and to encourage you to take action. You’ll receive access to our virtual learning environment after the course, with modules to supplement all the work we did together and to support you as you apply them. Through it, you’ll have access to support and mentoring with Penny after the workshop for six weeks. We’ll invite all participants to a group webinar a month later too to experience virtual facilitation in practice. You’ll receive a printed, full-colour book with everything we did together photographed so you will remember exactly what we did together and how. The pictures on this page give you an idea!

Your investment:

It’s likely that you have experienced Penny’s work through her tips, talks, books or virtual conferences.

You know her style. With two days with Penny, you’ll gain in confidence and get to practise tools and techniques to save time and build success. You’ll learn how to save hours of time, both for yourself and for your team. You’ll be even more effective with your team and stakeholders.

Your investment for this programme will be just £1097 (+ VAT if appropriate). This covers your one-to-one session with Penny, the two day workshop, your workbook and course binder, lunch, refreshments, follow up modules and coaching via our online learning environment, and a virtual conference a month afterwards.

Book by 7th November 2017 here to receive bonuses worth £150: 

  • A discount to bring the price down to £997 (worth £100)
  • Our Meeting Start Up Template in A0 poster form (worth £50).

Or call us on 01509 821691 or e-mail [email protected]. Contact us to invoice your company if you prefer. This option suits companies from mainland Europe with a VAT number who can avoid paying VAT for their delegates. We can also offer a three-pay option for individuals, spreading the cost over three months.

NB We know that some project professionals can find it tricky to obtain funding for excellent training. We have one charity bursary of up to 90% of the fees. Please contact us to find out more about how to apply for these, the timescales and conditions. Previous recipients include Barnados, Save the Children, Christian Aid.

Our workshop usually sells out, so please book or let us know immediately that you’d like us to invoice you.

Book online for 28th and 29th November here


To find out about running a workshop in-house, ring 01509 821691 or e-mail penny @ makingprojectswork.co.uk.

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