Top 15 Most Effective Group Decision Techniques

In every group, there is a leader. Now, this leader might like to decide on their own or make a decision as a group. Each person in the group would come up with a different solution. The main objective would be to conclude which solution is the best and how it can be improved. This also increases the quality of the decision.

Many strategies have been established in the decision-making field that has improved the decision-making process’s rationality and objectivity. Social scientists have worked to create methods that will increase the effectiveness of group decision-making. After reading this article, you will be familiar with the top 15 most effective group decision-making techniques. 

Steps to Make Effective Group Decisions

It’s important we go through the necessary steps one needs to take to make effective group decisions. In fact, these are the underlying steps that make up the group decision-making techniques. Briefly discussed below are some of the steps required for effective group decision-making:

1. Making Sure Everyone Gets It:

The choice’s specifics must be made known before anyone speaks up immediately. No one should provide their opinion without first comprehending the precise decision at hand and who or what it affects.

2. Analyzing The Missing Information:

At this point, team members should carefully review the information and materials at their disposal. The reason behind the decision can assist you in coming up with solutions. It will be simpler to identify the missing details once all the pertinent information has been gathered.

  • Setting The Lowest Attainable Bar:

List the elements of a decision that cannot be altered. For instance, the solution must be feasible given the team’s capabilities and resources, especially budget and financial resources. Whatever the case, the answer must advance the team toward its goal rather than create new problems that must be fixed. 

  • Combining And Generating Ideas as A Group:

Bring all of your teammates together for an open discussion of your alternatives. To arrive at a choice, take into account various viewpoints and strategies. There shouldn’t be any criticism at this point because you don’t want teammates to be afraid to speak up. 

  • Considering All Options:

After the suggestions are made, the decision can be made after weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each suggestion. 

  • Taking Action:

Based on the evaluation done in the previous stage, the choice will ideally be adopted unanimously. Though, this is typically not the case. It will be necessary to decide which group members or what portion of the group will have an ultimate say in the decision, either earlier or now. 

  • Reviewing And Assessing:

Keep an eye on the effects of the decision to avoid failure. Continue if the decision is making progress. If that’s not the case, start over, use the second-best choice, and repeat the monitoring procedure. The ideal situation is that the initial option chosen will operate as intended; unfortunately, this last stage can frequently involve a protracted process of trial and error until a permanent solution is established.

  • Using Group Decision-Making Techniques:

A team management strategy for organizing and structuring group talks and improving the caliber of the group effort is known as a group decision-making technique. Each technique has guidelines that outline how time, resources, and group interaction will be used. Any decision-making technique’s ultimate objective is to assist each member in putting their egos aside and concentrating on coming up with the best answers as a group.


Top 15 Techniques for Effective Group Decision-Making

There are various group decision-making techniques; let’s go through the top 15 listed below:

1.     Brainstorming Technique

This is one of the oldest methods of decision-making in the book. Comparatively speaking to the other group decision-making techniques, brainstorming has a more ad hoc structure. This method is frequently used in conjunction with another method of group decision-making to reach a consensus.

When you need to generate prospective ideas and solutions, group decision-making techniques like brainstorming can be pretty helpful. This provides a flexible framework for conversation and gives everyone a chance to contribute their thought on how to handle a specific circumstance. 

The primary objective of brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as possible before determining which strategy is the greatest. These sessions tend to focus more on developing ideas than making decisions, although one concept frequently stands out from the rest and can be chosen as the best course of action.

2.     The Delphi Technique 

When you need to come to a critical decision as a group, the Delphi method is a suitable choice. All of the suggestions made by your team are compiled as part of this group decision-making process for the group leader to narrow down into a more manageable list of options. The group is then given those fewer options again for discussion and evaluation as a whole.

In essence, the possibilities are reduced until the majority reaches a conclusion. The notion is that when fewer options are accessible, a decision can be made much more quickly and with the help of your team. Questionnaires are used in the Delphi Technique to elicit insights from a group of unnamed participants, which makes it a lengthy process.

3.     Weighted Scoring Technique

When your team has numerous potential solutions but hasn’t necessarily thoroughly thought through the consequences of each choice, weighted scoring is the best method to utilize. The weighted scoring method is based on the notion that some theories or methods may be riskier than others, and as a result, their consequences must be taken into account.

Each item is assessed in light of standards like the commercial value, costs, risks, and acceptance. Based on their weighting, each of these criteria is given a score. Your approach should have a high business value, high adoption rate, low cost, and minimal risk. You can add up the scores after weighing each suggestion to reach an educated team choice.

4.     Nominal Group Technique

With the Nominal Group Process, objectives are established, and issues are named in front of the group. The group members work on the issue while the moderator notes down their solutions without engaging in further discussion. The group then gathers and discusses these concepts to clarify and assess them. The moderator generates a list of all the ideas after group members discuss their thoughts.

After that, votes are cast using index cards with numbers one through five by participants. The numbers represent the priority that should be given to the concept. Following the computation of the votes, ideas are pursued in the order of the priority scores they obtained.

5.     Possibility Ranking Technique

In this method, everyone provides their rankings on the preferred possibilities related to the decision before meeting as a group. The team leader decides the average group ranks for each choice after considering everyone’s responses. The participants frequently discuss the top three rankings before making a collective decision. For decisions involving many options, using this strategy can be helpful.

6.     The Stepladder Technique

In a more extensive group context, the stepladder approach encourages people to express their opinions before being convinced by those of others. A new group member is added at each stage after the initial two group members meet in solitude to share their thoughts. The strategy promotes equal involvement and prevents groupthink.

There are a few steps to implement the Stepladder technique:

Step 1: Present the task to your team before the group meeting. Give everyone ample time to consider their viewpoints or choices on how to carry out the activity at hand.

Step 2: A core group of two people should discuss the work or issue.

Step 3: A third person should expand the core group. Before the third member hears the ideas that have already been discussed, they offer suggestions to the core group. After the three members have presented their answers and thoughts, they discuss their alternatives collectively.

Step 4: Add a fourth, fifth, sixth, and so on person to the group, then repeat the process. Make sure there is ample time for discussion following the presentation of each new member’s points of view.

Step 5: After every member has been recruited and has had a chance to express their opinions, make a decision.

7.     Pros and Cons List Technique

This approach is equally effective when making the individual as well as group decisions. Groups can meet and debate advantages and disadvantages. After weighing each option’s benefits and drawbacks, they can choose one. Making lists of advantages and disadvantages in a group context could persuade other team members to rethink their choice if they miss an obstacle.

8.     Didactic Interaction Technique

Only in a few circumstances is this strategy appropriate, but when the right opportunity presents itself, it performs admirably. The problem should be of the kind that can only have a “yes” or “no” answer. Usually, these are important choices that will significantly alter how the company runs and affect every employee. Such decisions necessitate lengthy, sometimes exhausting, and time-consuming dialogues. With this method, you may streamline the investigative process, save time, and go to the point without any explanation.

9.     Decision-trees Technique

decision tree approach is a visual tool that works well for predicting the results of various decisions. To forecast the outcomes of multiple approaches to tackling an issue, decision trees use a form of non-linear mind map and are very visual. This decision-making methodology isn’t linear, so you and your team can generate innovative ideas and weigh various options to determine which will result in the best situation.

The decision tree begins with a single question as the tree’s root and then branches into numerous possibilities. Branches will connect to nodes (outcomes), and then you can add a leaf representing a guideline or decision.

10.  Consensus Mapping Technique

One such tool for group decision-making is consensus mapping. This method makes an effort to make a decision by combining the ideas produced by several task subgroups. It starts with coming up with concepts. The task subgroups’ ideas are developed and carved into a more manageable quantity. The consensus mapping technique best suits multi-dimensional issues with related relationships and requires several sequential steps to solve.

11.  The RAPID Technique

RAPID stands for recommending, agreeing, performing, input, and deciding. The recommending phase allows group members to offer ideas for courses of action or choices, after which the group must agree on one of the options. The group will put the recommendations into action by acting on them. The individuals in the group take responsibility for the entire execution process after giving their input on the decision’s effects. For more complicated choices, this approach is frequently employed. RAPID makes decision accountability more clear.

12.  Voting Technique

The most straightforward and efficient option is frequently to put something to a vote. A simple vote can often be used to settle more minor disputes or when you require a clear yes/no response. 

You can ask for a vote from your team members without holding a meeting by sending an email or using one of the various online tools. You can choose anonymous voting if any group members have influential personalities or positions of authority that could affect the other group members. Or these people could cast their votes last; this would also ensure that your procedure is open and transparent.

13.  Dialectic Decision Technique

Another strategy for group decision-making that emphasizes choice debate and teamwork is dialectical inquiry. This method aids in bringing to light any potential internal issues. In situations involving many benefits and drawbacks to select from, it can be used to decide whether to proceed with a decision. Consider it as a tie-breaker.

14.  Meetings Technique

A group meeting is necessary when a decision needs to be made. The traditional way to make decisions in a meeting is to present the issue to the participants, solicit their opinions, and select the solution that has the support of the majority of participants.

15.  Fish Bowling Technique

Brainstorming and fish bowling are similar, but fish bowling is more organized and direct. This method involves the specialists making the decisions placed in a circle, with a single chair in the center. The group leader or participant is invited to take the center chair and share their thoughts on the issue and potential solutions. He can answer inquiries from the other group members, but there is no interfering conversation. After finishing his statement and ensuring everyone understands his point of view, the participant in the center chair moves to the edge of the circle and rejoins the group.

The second participant is then asked to sit in the center and share his thoughts and opinions in light of the preceding viewpoints. The members may question him in light of the fresh suggestions made by the person occupying the center chair as well as the suggestions discussed by the prior central participant. Until the chair is vacated, the focal person and the group members will continue their conversation. This procedure will continue until all members have had a chance to voice their opinions. After all the experts have expressed their views, the group as a whole examines the numerous suggestions and selects the one that garners the most support. 

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Takeaway – Pros and Cons of Group Decision-Making

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. The pros and cons of group decision-making are listed below:

Increases the collaborative cultureTime taking
Promotes the heterogeneity of perspectivesHighly expensive
Increases engagement and interestSome members will contribute too less or too much
Encourages open decision-makingSome of the input will be biased
Encourages teamworkNo member takes responsibility for the decision

Emidio Amadebai

As an IT Engineer, who is passionate about learning and sharing. I have worked and learned quite a bit from Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Business Analysts, and Key Decision Makers almost for the past 5 years. Interested in learning more about Data Science and How to leverage it for better decision-making in my business and hopefully help you do the same in yours.

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