The Loomio Facilitation Guide

By Alanna Krause originally published in Loomio School

What if we started from facilitation principles and worked toward understanding software? This guide goes in-depth about applying key facilitation concepts in the online space.

Loomio is made by facilitators, and that plays a huge role in how it has been designed. This guide is about revealing more of that context, and translating facilitation concepts from the offline space to the online space.

1-preparation_6001. Preparation

Understand Purpose, Rearrange the Furniture, Supplies, Tools, Materials, Design the Experience, Contextualise the Moment, The Role of the Facilitator.




2. Commencing2commencing_600

Invitation, Arrival, Who’s in the Room, Who’s NOT in the Room, Culture, Protocol, Expectations.





3underway_6003. Underway

Where are we on the Map, The Art of Noticing, Hearing Diverse Voices, Counter Cognitive Bias, Balancing Divergent / Convergent, Working with Scope, Pacing and Timing, Managing the Attention Economy, Facilitation Interventions.



 4concluding_6004. Concluding

Outcomes & Next Steps, Reporting & Harvesting, Turning Discussion into Action, It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over






5. Ongoing Practice

Continuous Improvement, Distributed Facilitation / Self-facilitation, The Art of Being Facilitated, Culture Change.





More about this guide

Whether employed by a professional facilitator, people peer-facilitating each other, or a group that has no awareness of facilitation at all, Loomio’s essential function is to mediate and support group communication toward a desired outcome. In other words, facilitation.

Loomio is groupware:

Collaborative software, or groupware, is designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals. One of the earliest definitions of collaborative software is ‘intentional group processes plus software to support them.’ — Wikipedia

There is a huge body of knowledge, best practice, and tradition in both in-person facilitation and online moderation, but the art and science of their intersection is only just emerging. This is the specific space where Loomio strives to excel.

Permission to republish granted by the author

Featured Image/Graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine.