The Triple Task Method
Triple Task Method or TTM is an empathetic approach designed to help a facilitator gain a deep knowledge of a group or community using three tasks. The method assumes that there is a difficult issue for the group or community to grapple with. Task 1 generates the groups answers to troublesome questions about the issue while Tasks 2 and 3 are designed to explore the ways in which the groups function and how this influences their analysis both in terms of what emerges under Task 1 but also in terms of the variation one might see between members of the group and how they are able to influence the dynamic. From the perspective of participants, they only consciously experience Task 1; Tasks 2 and 3 are largely invisible to them and are employed to help generate understandings to be shared later.
The main element of TTM in the sense that it is the task which is visible to the groups and will provide the insights about troublesome questions (what is the issue? what has been done so far? By whom? Why? How is this assessed in terms of effectiveness? Etc.). For convenience, Task 1 is also subdivided into three main steps: Scoping, developing Visions of Change (VoCs) and planning Desired change:
This is an ‘outside in’ review of the group dynamic. In effect, it is the facilitators assessment of the group process using a matrix approach originally developed at the Open University and known as BECM.
Is the ‘inside out’ review of the group dynamic – the stakeholders’ assessment of their group process. The three tasks align in providing a unique ‘group signature’ which can be compared and contrasted to the unique signatures of other groups or benchmark signatures. At the end of a TTM intervention a group will have gained clarity about its task and the organisation will have a deeper knowledge of how well groups are functioning.