VALUE OF AN AGENDA
to discussions based on case-studies) For any type of
formal discussion, there must be an agenda or method
for handling business . Without a basic structure for
discussions, it is unlikely that a group will conduct
the kind of systematic thorough investigation
necessary for wise decision making. Wood, Phillips and
Pederson in their book on Group Discussion have talked
about a standard agenda for a group discussion. It is
as follows :
Understanding the charge: Why is the group
in existence? What is it to do? What form does its
output take ? What is to be done with it?
Understanding and phrasing the question :
What precisely is the group to examine or inquire
about? What do the words in question mean? Are all the
technical words and issues clear to the members?
What are the symptoms of the problems? What is the
cause of the symptoms? What is happening that should
not be happening? What is not happening that should be
happening? Who is suffering from the situation? How
badly ? What will happen if the situation is not
remedied? How much the question be modified in light
of fact finding?
Setting criteria and Limitations: What is
possible (as opposed to what is desirable) What are
the legal, moral, financial, practical and logistical
limits on decision making? What would a solution look
like? What would be happening that is not happening
now? What will stop happening?
Discovering and selecting solutions:
What are the alternatives? How does each meet the
goals? How do they measure up against the limitations?
Which provide more of what is wanted with the least
now harm? Which one should be selected? Who is to do
what about what, when, and where, with what projected
effect and how will it be paid for? What evaluation
plan can be measure the effectiveness of the solution?
Preparing and presenting the final report: What
must be written down? What must be said? When, where
and to whom? How can the final report be most