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The acronym 'NAOMIE' is a tool that can be used when planning, not just for facilitation settings but for a range of different settings. 

  • Needs
  • Aims
  • Objectives
  • Methods
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation 

We are now going to move on to thinking about planning to facilitate. And I am going to share with you a little tool that I learned a long time ago. I learned it from the Scout Association, and it stood me in very good stead for, as I say, a lot of years since. It is kind of tattooed on to my heart around planning. You can use it to plan a facilitated session, but you can also use it in a range of other settings. So, it starts with a little acronym, which is NAOMIE. N-A-O-M-I-E. So, NAOMIE stands for Needs, Aims, Objectives, Methods, Implementation, and Evaluation. So we will take them step by step. First of all, the N for Needs. There are some questions to think about when you are asking yourself, what are the needs of this facilitation? There are needs in terms of your own needs? What do I need to get out of the conversation with this group of people? There are also what are the needs of the group? So hopefully from the last section, you have got some notes that you made about what is in it for them, what motivates them to come to this facilitated session? So, as part of that, that will help you to identify what their needs are. But there is something about your going into this room, into this situation for a reason, so what are your needs? What do you need to get from this conversation in terms of is it information? Is it ideas? Is it simply you want to hear people's experiences of a certain thing, a certain situation?

So, ask yourself, what are the needs? Then, we move on and only once you have identified those needs can you move on to ask yourself what is the Aim? So the overarching direction of travel, where are we going to end up as a result of this facilitated session? So my aim might be to gather views about, my aim might be to gather ideas about, or it may be to gather information about. It is your aim, you need to decide on what the overarching direction of travel is. So then once you have got your aim, you can move on to think about objectives. By the end of this facilitated session, the group will have. So what will they have shared with you? What information will they have given you? What ideas will they have passed on to you? You have got to do your needs, your aims and your objectives before you can then move on to think about the M, which is Methods. If you have not got a set of aims and objectives, you are setting yourself up to fail. If you get all excited about buying your Post-its and doing your exercises and doing your activities before you have got an aim and objectives, you may have a lovely, lovely time, but then you will come away from that facilitated session without the information ideas, etcetera, that you have gone in there needs.

So, Needs, Aims, Objectives, and then you can start thinking about your Methods. And later on in these videos, we are going to share with you some ideas on tools and techniques and methods that you might use to get the information that you need. Your methods need to be very, very, focused on your group. As we have said, this is not about you, this is about your group. So what is going to make it easy for your group to share with you? What is going to make it easy for your group to generate those ideas that you want to get from them? Once you have planned your session, Needs, Aims, Objectives, Methods, you will move on to the Implementation, you will move on to delivering that facilitated session. So the implementation is very much about you being there in the room with that group of people. When you are thinking about your methods, you will want to think about how you are going to implement those methods. So, if you have got a big group, have you got room enough for people to move around? Are you going to have people working in sub-groups? Are you are going to have people working as individuals?

So the implementation part of it, is about thinking, those methods that I thought I was going to do, are they practical? Can I do them with this group? Can I do them within the time that I have got available? So, you implement it, you do your facilitation and then you evaluate. You think about, did it work? How did it feel for the group? How did it feel for me? What went well? What challenges did I face? Why did those things go well? Why did I face those challenges and what will I do next time? Because it may be that you are running a series of facilitated sessions, so perhaps you need to think about, "Okay, that didn't work so well with this group, what will I do differently next time?" You are also really importantly evaluating against your objectives. So, if you have not written any objectives, how are you going to evaluate against them? And you will be evaluating not just at the end, but all the way through. Have I got the right objectives to meet the needs? Have I chosen the right methods to achieve my objectives? And so, I am implementing that facilitation. Have I actually got that group to share with me? Have I got that group to talk to me? Do I need to tweak something? Is there a quiet person sitting in the corner, who I really want to hear from? So, do I need to amend my methods?

So, the evaluation does not just sit there at the end, of course, it sits at the end of the acronym because it is the end of NAOMIE. But you should be evaluating all the way through. This is a really great planning tool. NAOMIE stands for Needs, Aims, Objectives, Methods, Implementation, and Evaluation. You can use this tool, as I said, in a range of situations and it is a really great starting point for your planning.