Nominal Group Technique – NGT

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The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is a structured method that involves identifying a problem, generating solutions for solving that problem, and then deciding which one best solves the identified problem. You can use it when working in groups, so everyone has an equal say. Voting is used to make decisions to ensure that every opinion has been considered.

KEY Takeaways

  • The concept behind the NGT is to generate as many ideas as possible, and then choose the most suitable solution. 
  • The NGT can serve as a great brainstorming tool where the entire group participates equally.
  • Make sure you give each participant a chance to speak after everyone has shared their ideas. Don't let anyone monopolize the conversation.

Process:

The NGT process is based on the following steps:

1. Introduction / Identify the Issue: This step requires you to identify a problem or issue. The group will need to agree on what they want to solve before they start brainstorming ideas.

2. Silent Generation of Ideas: Everyone silently thinks of as many potential answers to solve the problem as possible in a set period of time. They write these down.

3. Share Ideas: Each member shares a single idea at a time by rotation, and the facilitator is expected to put that on a flip chart without any discussion. If a person has finished all their ideas, they will pass their turn. In the later turn, the person might add an idea. Continue till the facilitator has collected all ideas.

4. Discuss: Each idea is then discussed for more clarity. The group might combine similar ideas in this process.

5. Prioritize (Voting and Ranking): Prioritize ideas based on multi-voting or other techniques.

Advantages of Nominal Group Technique:

  • It allows an equal opportunity for each member
  • Some people prefer to think silently. It helps them.
  • Allows members to express their views freely.

Disadvantages of Nominal Group technique:

  • If there are too many ideas generated, it can become challenging to get through the whole list
  • People may not like to share their initial thoughts with others.

The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) works well if your audience is already somewhat familiar with the topic you're discussing. When I've done it with complete novices, we usually end up with something basic and obvious.


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