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Multivoting; Using the Nominal Group Technique to Narrow Down Options With Your Team

Multivoting; Using the Nominal Group Technique to Narrow Down Options With Your Team

What is Multivoting?

Multivoting (also known as Nominal Group Technique) is a decision-making tool used to narrow down options from a large number to a manageable number. It can be used any time a team needs to narrow down and prioritize a list of options from many to just a few, and is a more engaging, practicle, and effective alternative to a “raise-of-hands”. Multi-voting can be helpful in determining which ideas to pursue at the end of a brainstorming session.

Multivoting is a tool often used in the “Do” portion of PDCA.

How to Use Multivoting

1. Start with a list of options. (Typically, the options are the result of a brainstorming session and options will be on a whiteboard or shared central point of the meeting room).

2. Clarify all options for participants – allow them to ask questions to clarify, but this is not a time for evaluation of the ideas

3. Number each option so that the participants can easily identify them

4. Determine the number of votes that each person gets. The general rule of thumb is 1⁄4 of the total options. Example, if there are 20 options, each participant gets 5 votes.

5. Each participant silently, individually makes their selections

6. Each participant identifies their votes (e.g. on the whiteboard)

7. Prioritize the list based upon the number of votes received for each option

Pro Tips for Multivoting

  • Before Multivoting, you can combine similar ideas to avoid confusion and overlap
  • Participants can identify their selections using a sticky dot or by placing a checkmark next to each. This provides a visual of the prioritization from the group.
  • Use your best judgment. This is not a scientific tool and must be used in conjunction with critical thinking!
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