One of the facilitation skills is planning the session ahead. A good plan is involved before the session starts until the follow-up process. However, before jumping to activities, methodology, or logistics. A good plan should build up with a strong base, in this case a session aims and objective.
Define aim and objectives.
First thing is knowing why you are creating the session. Before starting to think about activities or plan a session it is worth spending time on defining aims and objectives.
Aim: it´s the destination of the session. It's the main goal, which a facilitator strives to achieve.
To improve teamwork skills
To raise awareness of young people about environment issue
To enable young people to include equality and minority issues in the political agenda of their context
Objectives: it´s like a map and a compass to get to the destination(aim). They act as an instruction for a facilitator to know how to achieve the desired aim. To create good objectives, there is a famous model to follow: SMART model. The SMART is an acronym to memories that a good objective should be SMART:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant): Objectives should be well-defined and easy to understand by yourself and other members. It should target a specific area of improvement, so using action-oriented verbs like ´increase or decrease´ will make it easy to measure at the end. To make an objective specific, you can think about:
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?
Where is it located?
Which resources or limits are involved?
Measurable (meaningful, motivating): Objectives should have a benchmark so that they can be measured whether they exceed the benchmark and how much. On the other hand, facilitators will be able to know what to adjust to reach the setting target. A measurable objective should address questions such as:
How will I know when it is accomplished?
Achievable (agreed, attainable). Objectives should be realistic considering our knowledge, time, and target group. An achievable objective will usually answer questions such as:
How can I accomplish this objective?
How realistic is the goal, based on knowledge, material, group dynamic, etc?
What resources will help us to achieve this objective and what constraints can stand in our way?
Relevant (reasonable, realistic, and resourced, results-based). Objectives should be in line with the mission, vision, and goal of your program, organization, partners, or stakeholder. A relevant goal can answer "yes" to these questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our program or organization vision?
Am I the right person to reach this objective?
Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive). Objectives should be reached in a specific time frame. A good time frame should not be too soon that prevents success or too long that promotes procrastination. A time-bound objective will usually answer these questions:
Is the time realistic?