For those who want to know about the entire concept that revolves around Delphi Method which was developed and distributed along with the world by RAND Corporation, this is the place to be.
The Delphi method is a framework for forecasting that depends upon the responses gathered from multiple rounds of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts.
Here you will be able to understand all the different things that there is to know about this problem solving and decision-making tool. Hence, we make an urge that you read this article carefully to get the facts right.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Delphi Method
It was the RAND Corporation (“Research ANd Development”) that brought the Delphi Method into the world and it is certainly known to be one of the best techniques that companies use these days to make their business operation easier and faster.
So, no doubt discussing all the Delphi method is going to be the best help for sure.
To define the Delphi method, we can say that it is a forecasting process and framework which is based completely on the different rounds of questions which are sent to an expert panel consisting of people.
These expert panels then provide the response anonymously and then these responses are put together and then shared with the entire group after the completion of every single round.
These experts are then made to adjust the answers that they have in the coming rounds based on the interpretation that they have from the group response.
Since there are multiple rounds and different questions that are being asked to the group and also the fact that the panel will be provided with the thought process of the whole panel or group, the Delphi Method is said to seek the correct response which can be perceived from the consensus responses.
Understanding the Delphi Method
When we talk about the origination of the Delphi Method, it was in the 1950s and the method was discovered by Norman Dalkey and Olaf Helmer who were the members of RAND Corporation. This particular name of the technique comes from the Oracle of Delphi.
She was the high priestess of a particular temple which is situated in Apollo, Greece. She was also known for the future predicting abilities and the prophecies that she made.
Coming back to the technique, this particular method will allow different experts to have a mutual agreement during the working process by having certain questions asked to them and then releasing the related feedback offered by them to increase the scope of discussion and adjustment.
The responses from the experts in these rounds are then completed based on their information which they have from the other experts in the round.
The approach of The Delphi Method
After knowing a bit more about the technique, it is time to get into the details and to know about the approach that the workers take in the method.
This particular technique consists of a set of questions which are very carefully designed and developed with the help of several rounds. There are also some cases where certain interviews are conducted with experts.
These experts which are provided with the questions will have to share their answers in an anonymous pattern. After that, these experts will be confronted with the views and knowledge of each other.
One of the most important things to know about the process is that the experts in question will have no idea of the others on the panel.
The process can be interpreted as a particular mechanism for feedback and obtained information. This information is then recorded as well as reported to the experts who are participating in the round regularly.
It is a fresh and innovative attempt at the processing of information.
Now, the feedback which is received might not be just about the future needs and objectives which are solely expressed but they could also be some sort of considerations and arguments which get involved in the expectations.
This is one of the best ways of working towards an effective and well-coordinated joint position.
Just by providing the confrontations of these participants with the insights and ideas that they have in each round, you will be able to work your way towards a cooperating unit.
The Delphi method would ask for suggestions and recommendations from the experts.
No matter how many participants are there in the process, there must be a presence of a certain assurance that various definitions, as well as the interests, are being shared and addressed in the best way.
This is the way a particular topic or a problem can be viewed from different points and then discussed too. Also, the participants will be able to respect the contributions that every single one of them is making.
Importance of the Delphi Method
Now you must be wondering, why this method is practised so much in the world these days!
Well, it can be said that with the help of this technique the experts who are entrusted with the responsibility of making all the business decisions for the company will be able to have a mutual understanding and agreement over different processes that work to keep the company growing in the best way.
The questions will be asked to the panel of experts and they will be able to provide some important feedback that they think is important for the company.
Not to mention, this will also increase the scope for having some adjustments and discussions about the company processes as well.
This technique can be used to view certain problems from different perspectives to get the right answers to the problems which might surround a particular company.
This way they can make sure that they can decide what is best for the company and how they can achieve the goals for the company as well. Having the Delphi Technique is important for the betterment of the company.
Steps to run a Delphi Method
#1. Choosing a Facilitator
The initial step of the Delphi Method is to picking your facilitator.
It is suggested to do this job yourself or you can also find an impartial individual inside your association. Opting for somebody that knows about research and data gathering would be quite useful for you.
#2. Identifying Your Experts
The success of your Delphi method depends upon a board of specialists that are channelizing the Delphi session.
These specialists can be your task group along with the client or different specialists from inside your association or industry.
Your specialist would be a person with pertinent learning and adeptness of a specific subject.
#3. Defining the Problem
Next step revolves around defining what issues you are looking to comprehend via Delphi Method.
Your experts need to comprehend what issue they are going to give their remarks on. That is why; you have to give an exact and thorough definition of your problem to your experts.
#4. Ask first round of Questions
In the first round, you need to pose general questions to pick up an expansive comprehension of the specialists and their perspectives about future events.
The inquiries may go out as a poll or survey.
Then, you need to gather and outline the reactions, expelling any immaterial material and searching for basic perspectives of your experts.
#5. Ask second round of Questions
In light of the responses to the first round of questions, the following questions ought to dig further into the subject to explain explicit issues.
It is important that these questions may likewise go out as a poll or review or survey.
Then, in the same way as you did in the first round, you should gather and condense the outcomes, evacuating any unimportant material and search for the shared conviction.
You need to recall here that we are trying to construct an agreement via these steps.
#6. Round Three Questions
The last round of questions expects to concentrate on supporting basic decision making.
That is why; you should focus on the zones of understanding.
You need to pay heed to those points where all the specialists are altogether settled upon. If needed, you may go for some other rounds of questioning to arrive at a closer agreement.
#7. Act on Your Findings
Now, in the final step when all your different round of inquiries are over, it is expected that your specialists will have arrived at an agreement and you will have a perspective for that future event.
You need to break down the finding of your Delphi session and accordingly, you should set up designs to manage future issues and opportunities.
Let us now understand these steps of the Delphi Method with an Example-
Delphi Method Example
Problem- Gathering information of residents in numbers of districts in a particular municipality
Step 1- Municipality would first appoint a project facilitator
Step 2- Then a group of experts related to the problem will be gathered. Experts that are adept in communication to citizens would be the right pick for you
Step 3- Facilitator can come up with a poll or survey by clearly defining the problem to the experts
Step 4- Different rounds of questions will be asked to the experts, so their answers can finally reach a consensus. Questions and feedbacks steps are repeated until this consensus occurs.
Step 5- With the help of suggestions and recommendations of experts, the facilitator can find out the most useful and top quality information as the solution to the problem.
Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Delphi Method
This particular method is one of the ways by which someone can seek different opinions and suggestions from different experts in a panel. To do that, one doesn’t really have to get the panel together in one location as the questions can be sent to them as well.
Basically, there is no need to have a proper and physical meeting with the experts. Also, the responses which are made by these experts are completely anonymous and hence there is no worry about the repercussions which might arise from the opinions of the experts.
The consensus can be achieved with time as there are many different opinions which are being delivered from one person to another. Hence, this is the reason why it is an effective method which is being used by professionals everywhere.
But although it is true that this technique allows the communities to have different participants from diverse locations, the results are not the same as one might achieve from a live discussion. There is no doubt that with the live discussions one will be able to get a better consensus.
Also, the perceptions in live discussions are properly broken down, analyzed, and reassessed too. Since the response time of the Delphi Method might be a bit longer than the live discussions, most people choose the latter option.
So, what would be your opinion about the technique?
Do you think this method will be able to solve the team challenges and business problems of today?
If the answer to that question is a yes then you might want to use this process of decision making for your next project. We hope this article would gauge you the right way of implementing the Delphi method in making the right business decisions.
Share your views about this technique in the comments below.