1. Get a
prior group discussions, there should be a list of issues, goals,
tasks, or some other items. The list should be refined to the point
where similar information and ideas are grouped under one theme
and everyone present is in agreement with the wording of statements
and expression of ideas. All of this preparatory work should be
posted on walls so that participants can see it especially if time
has elapsed between meetings or workshops.
2. Rank the
If the group
is less than 10 people, and the list is manageable, have each person
write down on his or her own piece of paper how they would rank
the items. Then randomly select one item and have each person take
a turn sharing his or her recommendation for its ranking and why.
A facilitator or recorder captures comments on a flipchart. When
everyone has spoken, review the list and see if there is agreement
about the ranking. If there are some whose ranks are completely
opposite that of the majority, check back with those individuals
to further discuss the ranking or to make sure they agree with the
groups, give all of the participants an equal number of colored
dot-stickers. Ask everyone to come forward and place their dots
on the top three or five items, depending upon the size of the list,
as they see it. When done, count the dot-votes and see if there
is a natural consensus. Discuss the top items, then rate the remaining
items by counting their dot-votes and discuss rates for any items
is to use dot-votes in multiple steps. Participants vote their way
through the entire list using different colors of dots: first step
is to vote for top three using another a color (blue); second step
is to vote for top one within those three using a second color (green);
third step is to vote for top one outside of that first group of
three using a third color (yellow); and so on.
If the group
is especially large and so is the number of items, divide into subgroups
each assigned to a category. Subgroups discuss and decide upon ranks
within that category. Everyone reconvenes and reports their recommendations.
The end result is a number one priority in each of the different
categories. Or, have the whole group select an overall priority
across the categories.