Nominal Group Technique – NGT

The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) 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 that everyone has an equal say. Voting is used to make decisions to ensure that every opinion has been considered.

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 upon what they want to solve before they start brainstorming ideas.

2. Silently Generate Ideas: Everyone silently thinks of as many potential answers to solve the problem as they can. They write these down.

3. Share Ideas: Each member shares one idea 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, then the person 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 to 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 very basic and obvious.

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