Facilitation skills in business analysis

Business analysts aid facilitation between stakeholders to help them make a decision, solve a problem, transfer ideas and information, or arrive at an agreement in relation to the order and the essence of requirements.

The business analyst may also support facilitation between stakeholders for the purposes of negotiation and conflict resolution.

Facilitation is the art of tempering discussions within a group in order to ensure that all the participants effectively express their opinions on the discussion topic, and to confirm that all the participants in the discussion are able to grasp the different points of views that are expressed.

There are some measures of effective facilitation which include:

  1. Make it apparent to the participants that the facilitator is a third party to the process and not a decision maker nor the owner of the topic.
  2. Encourage involvement from all attendees.
  3. Remaining neutral and not taking sides, but at the same time being fair minded and interceding when required in order to make recommendations and offer observations.
  4. Setting up ground rules such as being open to approaches, building on what is there, not rejecting ideas, and allowing others to express themselves.
  5. Insuring that participants in a discussion understand each other’s opinion.
  6. Using meeting management skills and tools to keep the discussions remain focused and coordinated.
  7. Limiting discussions from being sidetracked into irrelevant topics.
  8. Grasping and considering all parties’ interests, motivations, and objectives.