Perspectives sur la poursuite d’un groupe de
codvrage de Payette et Champagne
: «
Le Groupe de

Codéveloppement Professionnel

Perspectives on the pursuit of a codevelopment group in self-animation, from extracts from the work by Payette et Champagne: “Le Groupe de Codéveloppement Professionnel”, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 1997.

While the period encourages savings, Codevelopment may seems to be an appropriate method for developing employees in a company at a lower cost.

“The codevelopment group offers definite economic advantages (…) if the organizer and facilitator are employees of one of the organizations, the costs will be very limited. If an outside facilitator is needed, the costs will be reduced to his fees for half a day per month, for example (1). “

Indeed, with or without a “professional” facilitator (because it must be recognized that with time and practice, leading co-development can even become a full-fledged activity for some), the operation is rather interesting. In a short time and thanks to a proven “protocol”, participants:

  • Learn to be more efficient
  • Understand and try to formalize their models
  • Consolidate their professional identity
  • Learn to help and be helped

While the fundamentals of the method include the possibility of group autonomy, or rotating animation:

“It is conceivable that (the group) could function without a facilitator” (1)

… one can question the feasibility of this hypothesis and especially its validity. In this article, we endeavor to study this subject, insofar as this request is regularly made to us to “pursue a group in autonomy”.

The role of the facilitator

“The facilitator is a resource person who must have skills and experience in helping relationships (…), he must be a specialist in the process, the approach (1). ”

It is difficult to imagine on reading these lines that self-facilitation of the group is obvious, even after a few sessions led by a “process specialist”. Indeed, the skills of the facilitator go beyond simple leverage. They make it possible to avoid real catastrophes which can occur in a setting where, believing themselves to be protected, participants open up, give themselves up and get their feet in the mat … This happens more often than you think and causes harm. to the person, the method and the missed opportunities to apply co-development where it would make sense, having given the method bad press.

“(Co-development is) threatening, because it can undermine ways of doing things and provoke unforeseen questioning; which sets emotions in motion, because it is impossible to learn without your affectivity being affected in one way or another: anxiety, doubt, pleasure, satisfaction (1). ”

The question then arises as to whether the establishment of a framework of reassurance, trust and respect “which invites you to take risks, in particular to reveal yourself, to look at yourself and to consider new ways of thinking and doing ”Is within the reach of a group without a leader, and if so, what type of group.

The feasibility of a "small" group

“Is the presence of a facilitator really necessary? It is conceivable that a group does not have an appointed facilitator, that the facilitation functions are shared in turn among the members or assigned to a single person. To our knowledge, some groups operate without a facilitator, but they are small (4 to 5 people) and they got there after having made some progress together (1) ”.

If it is conceivable that because a group is “small” it can be self-regulated, the fact remains that this autonomy is the fruit of a process which involves collective learning via “expert animation”. ”Or group training in the fundamentals of codevelopment. But is the game worth the candle?

“A competent facilitator will know how to take the participants where they are and will know how to make them progress, develop, towards a level of competence which will bring about significant changes for each one (1). ”

So why do without this skill? Is the economy of the facilitator’s “fees” sufficient justification? In our experience, the success of a self-regulated codevelopment group or one led by one of the members of the group necessarily requires training of the said group or facilitator that allows them to create these leverage effects. This internalization of competence within an organization finds its meaning in the desire to develop internal collaborators because training to lead codevelopment or train a group to continue its organization following an external animation develops many useful skills in addition, particularly in management or human resources.

In fact, offering some of its volunteer employees training to lead codevelopment allows them to:

  • A better knowledge of oneself and of one’s own models
  • Better ability to help
  • A development of qualities of intuition, listening and taking a step back
  • An ability to better manage, question, put oneself in the shoes of

Providing a group with training in the fundamentals to pursue self-regulation also allows them to:

  • Strengthen their mutual trust
  • Strengthen their sense of belonging to a resource group
  • Develop the autonomy of each and every one and thus promote initiative, pro-activity, taking a step back in daily work
All in all, the self-regulation of a codevelopment group has many advantages, it is even a very good development opportunity for elected employees, but ease is not one because the time invested in training will not be neutral. In addition, the success of these internalization procedures depends on supervising the internal facilitators or the group so that they can continue their learning and submit their questions, thoughts and doubts to an external facilitator, in order to be in an approach that is not “peremptory” or knowing but “in the service of the group”.
“The fact remains that the group cannot be entrusted to a “beginner without support, nor to someone who has not proven themselves (1)”.


“We shouldn’t be obsessed with the codevelopment method either; it is one method among many. (…) The professional codevelopment group is not a panacea. If one wants to foster improved practice by using the experience of peers and creating a culture of support, the codevelopment group may be an appropriate approach (1).
Eh yes ! No doubt the real power that codevelopment allows sometimes obscures a reality: it is ONLY a method at the service of something. Also, what I think is important to remember at the end of this article is in two sentences.

The power of co-development is such that it would be a shame to do without it (and by that I mean to do without an expert animation which ensures that the time invested by the participants is well used), when it can be put into practice. square.

The method in its principles (listening before speaking, questioning before answering, agreeing on a request understood by all before contributing), can be quite useful even for beginners who apply it by “wisdom” listening and questioning.

The result will not be the same but maybe it will be quite sufficient!

If you are wondering about the possibility of organizing the self-facilitation of a group in your company, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • What am I waiting for?
  • What type of result do I want to see?
  • What makes me prefer this option?
  • By making this choice, what am I saving?
  • By making this choice, what do I value?

Do not hesitate to share your experiences and remarks in the comments in order to enrich this reflection with crossed views and perspectives!

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