January 30, 2018

Progress-focused intervision: fast and useful

Progress-focused intervision can teams to reflect on a case and to get some good ideas for progress within about 20 minutes. One person presents a case and the rest of the team are in a helping role. The approach has some rules and steps which I will describe below. It usually works best if the rules and steps are followed rather closely and if the process proceeds rather quickly. After all the steps have been taken there is no further discussion of the case.

This method resembles some well-known intervision techniques but is different in some details.  An important example of such a difference is that after step 1 and 2 (see below) there is a step in which all participants mention what they appreciate in what the case-presenter has already done, has told or tries to accomplish. What happens in this step is often powerful and surprising.  In step 4 all participants give tips. This step is usually extra useful when the team members are already familiar with the progress-focused approach so that they can give progress-focused tips.


Rules

  1. One person facilitates the process. This process facilitator explains and guards the rules and guides the team members through the steps. 
  2. In steps 2, 3, and 4, each team member is asked for one input at a time. If necessary, multiple rounds are made. 
  3. Each team member is asked to briefly give one input a time.
  4. There is no discussion about what each team member says. 
  5. When team members have no further inputs or need more time to think they can say "I pass".
  6. The process facilitator makes as many rounds as necessary to let all team members offer all their questions, compliments and tips. 

Steps

  1. Presentation: The case-presenter describes the situation about which he or she would like to get some tips. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Factual questions: the team members ask factual questions to clearly understand what their tips should be focused on. The question should not be suggestive and the case-presenter should be able to answer them rather easily. Usually, two rounds of questions suffices. 
  3. Appreciation: the team members tell the case-presenter what they appreciate in what he or she has already done, has said, or tries to achieve. The process facilitator may need to ask some clarification questions to find out what the team members appreciate and why they do so. The case-presenter does not yet respond to the compliments given. 
  4. Tips: One by one, the team members give their tips. The case-presenter does not yet respond. 
  5. Usefulness: The facilitator asks the case-presenter to (only) mention which 1, 2 or 3 tips seem most useful to him or her. He or she does not have to say anything about what seems less useful. 

Afterwards

  1. The facilitator asks the case-presenter if he or she found the process useful (and, if yes, what was specifically useful).
  2. All team member are also asked if they found it useful to participate in this exercise (and, if yes, what was specifically useful).
  3. After this, the exercise is ended. 

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