There you are, standing before the group, a dry erase marker in one hand and a blank flip chart page in the other. You are the facilitator and all of the participants have settled in, ready for the session to commence. As you look out into the group, you see a room full of eager faces watching you intently, all waiting for their cue to begin. Maybe a slow grinding feeling begins at the pit of your stomach. One by one, hidden doubts begin to slowly make their way into your consciousness as silent questions. Where should I start? Will I get them to tell me what we need to know? What if the group does not cooperate? How do I get the participants to start talking? Fortunately, one ice breaker exists which works every time!
Information Flow Diagrams
Have the group help you to create a high-level information flow diagram. This model shows the major information inputs and outputs to and from either a department, a process, a system, an activity, or any other business area which may be the center of focus for the session. Simply have the participants tell you about the information "flows" which exist within their business environment. This activity will accomplish the following purposes:
The completed Data Flow Diagram should show the major information consumers and information sources. These would include: