Getting the Ideas from the team and building a solution – Nominal Group Technique (NGT)

The nominal group technique is used to generate ideas from team in Problem identification, solution generation and decision-making. It can be used for teams of any size but ideally limited between 5 to 9 members. This number is ideal to get diversity and easy to find consensus among the team. Nominal group technique is particularly useful when few of the team members are more vocal than others. Generally a facilitator leads the team and manages the interaction. the steps are below.
  • The Facilitator introduces the team and presents the problem to the team after explaining the purpose and procedure during the meeting
  • All the team members are advised to create their ideas silently and individually on a sheet of paper. No consultation or discussion allowed
  • The Facilitator then requests and records all the ideas from all the members in a sequential way till all the ideas are exhausted. ( No discussion is allowed till all the ideas are exhausted). This will allow all the team members to present their ideas.
  • Building on the existing ideas is permitted during the presentation
  • The ideas are then evaluated and discussed among the team. Duplicate ideas are eliminated or merged with the team consensus. Seeking other information from the idea generator is allowed. Facilitator ensures that focus is not concentrated on single or very few ideas.
  • Voting for the best solution is then conducted to get the group consensus using the multi voting in the following way.
  • All the members rank the final list of ideas according to their choice silently.
  • The total votes are tallied and ideas with lowest votes are eliminated. This process can be repeated till best solution is generated.

One of the main advantages of nominal group technique is that the team gets equal chance to take part and force the silent participants to be active. Second major advantage is that this method generates more ideas than an interactive session.

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