Dynamic facilitation

What is dynamic facilitation?

Dynamic facilitation discussion categories

Dynamic facilitation discussion categories

Group discussion of an important topic is often unstructured and emotional. Dynamic facilitation provides a minimal, flexible structure which ensures that each participant’s ideas are heard and considered thoroughly and the group can build on the emerging knowledge that develops as potential solutions are suggested and concerns are raised in regard to a particular issue. It was developed by Jim Rough in Port Townsend, WA, as he worked with timber workers. The facilitator uses four flip chart pads to track discussion in the categories of Problems, Solutions, Concerns, and Data.

What is dynamic facilitation good for?

Dynamic facilitation is best used in a series of meetings with a group to solve a problem that is important to them. Group members develop respect for each other and faith in their own capabilities. The facilitator is there to draw out the group’s own wisdom.

I used dynamic facilitation with a computing support group that was redesigning its internal reporting structure. I used an electronic variation of Rough’s four flip charts. Here is my Word document template for dynamic facilitation.

Where can I learn more about dynamic facilitation?


Jim Rough’s website has many examples and articles


A Manual and Reader for Dynamic Facilitation and the Choice-creating Process: Evoking Practical Group Creativity and Transformation Through Generative Dialogue, Rosa Zubizarreta and Jim Rough, 2002

Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People, Jim Rough, 2002