5 Ways to Facilitate Fishbowl Window for Project Managers

Fishbowl window facilitation is a technique for project management that helps team members resolve conflicts and move forward with the project. This technique can be used in a variety of situations and can be customized to fit the team’s specific needs.

Fishbowl window sessions are a project management technique for brainstorming ideas, solving problems, and making decisions.

This type of facilitation is based on the idea of a “fishbowl”, where a group of people sit in a circle and share their thoughts and ideas. The “window” in the fishbowl refers to the fact that there is always one person in the center of the circle who is the focus of the discussion. This person is typically the group’s most knowledgeable or experienced member; some fishbowls should have no more than 5-8 people in total.

The fishbowl method is an excellent way for people to share their ideas and reach a consensus. It can be used in various situations, from project planning to conflict resolution.

Fishbowl Window In Workplace 

If you’re looking for a way to get everyone on your team to share their ideas and collaborate, fishbowl window sessions may be just what you need.
The fishbowl window panel facilitation technique can be used in various ways in the workplace.

For example, it can be used to brainstorm new ideas, solve problems, or get to know your coworkers better. No matter how it is used, this technique can help to promote a more open and collaborative workplace.

How to Facilitate a Fishbowl Window

To facilitate a fishbowl window, you must prepare beforehand by selecting a topic, a moderator, and a scribe.

It is a structured way for a group to have an open and honest conversation about a topic. It can be used for various purposes, such as exploring a new topic, solving a problem, or generating new ideas.

You must also create a list of questions to guide the discussion. Once you have everything prepared, you must facilitate the discussion by asking open-ended questions and keeping the conversation on track.

Once the conversation starts, you must moderate it so everyone can speak and be heard. You may also need to take notes to review the discussion later.

How To Create a Fishbowl Window?

If you are interested in creating a fishbowl window, you will need to follow a few steps.

Choose knowledgeable professionals

Subject-matter specialists have a deeper understanding of their subjects, and because of their knowledge, your audience will be patient and interested in listening to what they have to say.

Involve a variety of viewpoints

Compile a list of all the approaches to a specific issue, distribute it to your speakers, and urge them to use the list to present their special perspectives on the various approaches.

In the outer circle, make them participate

If participants wish to participate, they can raise their hands. After allowing time for internal debate among the audience, the moderated questions will be passed on to the panel.

Participants can be part of the discussion too

Allow the audience to participate and express their own opinions. After rigorous moderation, select people who can add fresh perspectives to the conversation.

Debriefing follows the session

Once done, remember that there are some rules to follow during this session.

Each person may sit in the vacant chair until they complete their contribution or a new participant wishes to join.

Don’t talk with others. That may not be helpful when you need to keep focus.

Any member of the inner circle is free to depart at any time.

Importance of Fishbowl Windows in projects

Fishbowl Windows sessions are vital because they allow for open, honest dialogue between team members and give everyone a chance to contribute their ideas and thoughts.

Fishbowl Windows sessions can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all voices are heard by allowing project members to have open and honest discussions about the project.

Additionally, these sessions can help identify potential problems early on before they have a chance to negatively impact the project.

As the project manager, you are responsible for ensuring that all project team members are on the same page and working towards a common goal. Part of your role is facilitating dialogue between team members so that everyone can contribute their ideas and thoughts.

For example, during Fishbowl Window, The person in the middle is the ‘fish in the bowl’, and the other team members take turns asking them questions about the project.

Benefits During Fishbowl

The Fishbowl Window is a tool that helps you increase transparency and communication in your workplace. It allows you to see what your team is working on and allows you to provide feedback and collaborate on projects in real-time.

Additionally, the Fishbowl Window can help you foster a culture of trust and accountability within your team.

There are many benefits of using the Fishbowl Window in your workplace. Here are just a few:

  • It increases transparency and communication.
  • It allows you to provide feedback and collaborate in real-time.
  • It helps you foster a culture of trust and accountability.
  • It can help you improve your team’s productivity.
  • It can help you reduce conflict within your team.

Fishbowl Windows in Agile

The “fishbowl window” is a popular technique in agile project management. It is a tool for increasing transparency and communication within a team.

Fishbowl window facilitation can be a helpful tool for agile teams, as it allows team members to openly express their suggestions for improvement without feeling like they are being critical of others.

The fishbowl window can be a physical space or online, while there is a team’s work area where everyone can see what everyone else is discussing. The idea is that by seeing how team members will be better able to help each other and collaborate more effectively.

There is some debate over whether or not the fishbowl window is effective. Some argue that it increases distractions and makes it difficult to focus on one’s work. However, others believe that the benefits of increased transparency and communication outweigh the drawbacks.

It also helps to ensure that all voices are heard and that everyone has an opportunity to contribute.

Tips to Implement Fishbowl Windows in Agile

Team members use this technique to anonymously write down areas of improvement on pieces of paper and place them in the fishbowl window. The team then discusses the items in the window and decides on actions to improve the identified areas.

There are a few steps to follow when implementing the fishbowl window:

1. Choose a topic and have someone act as a moderator.

2. The moderator will start by asking a question about the topic.

3. All participants will then have a chance to answer the question.

4. After everyone has had a chance to answer, the moderator will ask a follow-up question.

5. This process will continue until all questions have been asked.


What is Fishbowl Window in PMP?

The goal of this method is to create an environment where, for example, all stakeholders can have a voice in the decision-making process or team members can express an opinion. This method is helpful for project management practices because it allows for a more open and collaborative decision-making process.

Are Fishbowl windows useful in agile?

The Fishbowl window is a facilitation technique used in agile methodology. It is helpful in agile because it helps to create a space for open dialogue and collaboration.

Use of Fishbowl Window in Project Management

Facilitating a fishbowl window can be used in project management to encourage creativity and collaboration among team members. This is typically used when generating new ideas or solving complex problems is needed.

Shane Drumm

Shane Drumm

Shane Drumm, holding certifications in PMP®, PMI-ACP®, CSM, and LPM, is the author behind numerous articles featured here. Hailing from County Cork, Ireland, his expertise lies in implementing Agile methodologies with geographically dispersed teams for software development projects. In his leisure, he dedicates time to web development and Ironman triathlon training. Find out more about Shane on shanedrumm.com and please reach out and connect with Shane on LinkedIn.

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