The Facilitator’s Fieldbook Third Edition


the-facilitators-fieldbookBook Title:  The Facilitator’s Fieldbook Third Edition

Authors:  Thomas Justice, David W. Jamieson

Publisher:  AMACOM Books

List Price:   US $45.00

Format:  soft cover; 470 pages

Publication Date:   2012

ISBN: 978-0-8144-2008-9

Reviewer:      Madison Berndt, PMP and Susan Kennedy, PMP

Review Date:              January 2013

Introduction to the Book

As a Project Manager, Business Analyst or Consultant, effective facilitation can be the most visible and challenging aspect of a large scale project.  This book provides useful taxonomies for understanding and discussing facilitated group meetings along with guidelines and templates for planning and implementing the meetings.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book begins with an introductory primer.  We found the Primer and Resources useful because it clarifies the tools and techniques needed to facilitate meetings.  Most of this is not new to an experienced facilitator so the overview is good for reminders and orientation.  The overview and Primers are 10% of the book.

The next three sections deal with the main phases of facilitation:  Preparation, Working with the Group and Implementation (follow-up and action items).  Experienced project professionals will recognize these as aligned with the PMI process categories of Initiation/Planning, Executing/Monitoring, and Closing.

Most of the content is dedicated to detailed guidelines, checklists, and examples for large group meetings.  The information is easily accessible and relevant to anyone working on enterprise level projects that require cross-functional engagement.

We particularly like the way that tasks for each phase are handled.  A task list is provided that clearly defines what is needed and then each task is covered in more detail.  Worksheets and templates are provided throughout. Almost 70% of the book is dedicated to the three phases of facilitation.

Four scenarios are covered in more detail by sections 4 and 5.  These include:

  • uncooperative large groups of selected stakeholders (sound familiar?),
  • working with large groups of self-identified stakeholders,
  • working with multiple groups within large-group meetings, and
  • facilitating in a virtual environment.

The virtual facilitation section is particularly helpful for recommending standards of conduct to be expected from team members.  The condensed coverage and detailed process steps provide a useful resource for integrating the latest technology into meetings.  The detailed coverage of specific scenarios is general enough to be applied in divergent situations. 


To read entire Book Review (click here)

About the Reviewers

madison-berndtflag-usaMadison Berndt, PMP 

Madison Berndt is a Project Manager located in the Dallas, Texas area focused primarily on Business reporting and Business Intelligence related projects.  His experience with end-user development projects includes startups, mid-sized/high growth, and established Fortune 500 companies.  He is a graduate of UT Arlington having earned his Bachelor Science in Economics in 1989 and Masters of Business Administration in 2007.  In 2010 he earned the PMP certification and is an active volunteer with PMI Dallas. Madison can be contacted at [email protected]

susan-kennedyflag-usaSusan Kennedy, PMP

Susan Kennedy, PMP is an award winning project manager with 30 years’ experience.  She has managed over 25 information technology implementation projects across the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.  She has taught facilitation classes, and has managed executive meetings around the world.  Susan is known for effectively facilitating contentious issues, and seems to enjoy it.  She is experienced in strategic and operational planning, and is the recipient of several project management and business awards.  Susan Kennedy can be contacted at [email protected]

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].