Free US Law DictionaryBETA
Nominal Group Technique
The nominal group technique is a decision-making method for use among groups of many sizes, who want to make their decision quickly, as by a vote, but want everyone's opinions taken into account (as opposed to traditional voting, where only the largest group is considered). The method of tallying is the difference. First, every member of the group gives their view of the solution, with a short explanation. Then, duplicate solutions are eliminated from the list of all solutions, and the members proceed to rank the solutions, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on. The numbers each solution receives are totaled, and the solution with the lowest (i.e. most favored) total ranking is selected as the final decision. There are variations on how this technique is used. For example, it can identify strengths versus areas in need of development, rather than be used as a decision-making voting alternative. Also, options do not always have to be ranked, but may be evaluated more subjectively.
To perform this consultation technique, a group appoints or accepts a leader.[disputed] The leader asks the individuals in the group to brainstorm and offer qualifying definitions of the concept in question. Every opinion is an important one, usually expressed within a common frame of reference, dependent on the field of enquiry. The group members often draw on their expertise rather than directly on specific findings. Opinions are written in bullet point form - one idea, one bullet. The notes may be placed on a large sheet of paper, a whiteboard, etc.. If there are numerous notes, members may be invited to cluster them into more overarching themes. They are then asked to categorise them and ascribe matching sub-headings,[disputed] and finally assign ranks. When the technique is used for identifying strengths and weaknesses, instead of decision-making, the larger clusters are where the strengths of the group lie; the smallest clusters are areas for development.
Nominal group technique has been compared to Delphi method.