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This exercise can be used to demonstrate the Delphi method of decision making and forecasting to the delegates. It is an excellent technique to use in meetings where everyone has to voice their opinion and the group wants to make a decision based on the opinion of all the experts present. The method has a systematic feedback and encourages independent votes irrespective of other voter’s seniority or authority. The Delphi method was originally developed in the cold war to estimate the dangers of nuclear war.
Delegates must estimate the number of objects in a container using a variation of the Delphi method.
Explaining the Test: 5 minutes.
Activity: 15 minutes
Group Feedback: 10 minutes.
Ask the delegates how they felt while they were making the estimates? How did they respond to the estimated average of the contents? Was the average getting closer in every round to the true figure? Was group decision better than the individual decisions? Why?
Explain that the feedback leads to shared decision making which improves the quality of the estimations. Emphasise that the group can make better decisions especially if team members have access to shared information. In addition, the estimation becomes more accurate as political biases are removed from people’s decision making process which is why the Delphi method is carried out anonymously and the sources of comments or not revealed even after the decision is made.
You may choose to explain the Delhi method in more detail at this point so that the delegates learn how to use this technique in their everyday life.
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