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Ode to Facilitation
By: Barbara Babij

I’ll tell you a tale of more than one intervention
Where process and roles deserve some attention.

I combined CPS with other methods you see,
In fact, in one case, quite deliberately.

The other case was not planed but the why is now clear
The lesson was learned, at a price not oo dear.

I’ll share this one first as it’s easy to tell
The client was happy it ended so well.

Two facilitators were present and divided the tasks,
One versed in process one versed in facts.

We expected the group to be properly prepped,
And right along we would smartly have stepped.

But the group was what it was and no one’s to blame,
We used other methods without any shame.

From CPS to discussion we found ourselves shifting,
And with each shift we were no longer drifting.

We were back on the track and the track was now paved,
The outcome it seemed had truly been saved.

So what can we learn from this CPS story?
That improvisation can lead straight to glory.

A client & resource group in the know
Are the two places from which content should flow.

When the group is not trained nor in the subject too rounded,
Concerns for the outcome are really well-founded.

Ideas, plans or options won’t make for gestalt,
The process might come to a slow grinding halt.

But it’s okay, it’s all right, it’s not such a mess,
When the process is flexible and CPS!

As a traditional consultant new software I needed
The old software you see, had become obsoleted.

Brainstorming was used to develop criteria,
Ideas soon blossomed and looked like wisteria.

Musts and wants were ID’d with two colors of dots,
The musts were retained, the wants were “use-nots.”

Our choices were narrowed by market selection,
Those not fitting for use would face swift rejection.

Comparing the old way was quite inefficient,
This method was faster and almost omniscient.

The Matrix was used to compare options to functions
We eliminated software without any compunctions.

The results were successful, the methods diverse,
Moving toward a shared vision and not in reverse.


Source CPSB’s Communiqué, Vol. 5, p.16, 1998, © 1998 CPSB, Reprinted with Permission