Six Sigma Green Belt: Team Tool #2—Nominal Group Technique


This technique is similar to multivoting in its purpose, but the method is slightly different.

You first create a list of ideas (blue), then you vote on them (green), and then you take the final results, announce them and discuss them (red).

Step Explanation
1. Discuss Explain the purpose of the activity, to generate a list of action items by means of group consensus.


2. Write down Each person should write down their ideas separately; collect them.


3. Clarify Put all ideas on whiteboard.


4. Cull List Combine similar items so you have a final list of ideas.


5. Distribute Cards Distribute index cards so that there is one index card for every 5 or so ideas on the final list.
6. Vote Vote for the best ideas, one idea per index cards.


7. Rank Rank how many votes each idea receives, rank in order from most chosen to least chosen.
8. Announce Announce the top-ranked ideas.


9. Discuss Agree upon moving forward on the action items that were top-ranked by the group.

The difference here between this and the multivoting technique is that the generation of ideas is done separately by members, and the results are pooled together. This can also be done by sending responses remotely to, say, subject matter experts (SMEs) or stakeholders, for example.

The purpose, however, is the same, to generate ideas on what problems to handle next and to develop a group consensus on which of them have highest priority, so there is buy-in from the group going forward. Even if your pet project wasn’t voted on, you can at least have the satisfaction that your idea had an airing before the group.


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