Alternative to Brainstorming

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The NGT is a technique that was developed by Delbecq and VandeVen. It is used for group brainstorming with the intent to get everyone involved by contributing their feedback. It is structured to help gain different viewpoints from several people for a particular topic or issue.

The NGT was designed with the purpose of causing all members of the group to be involved in the discussion with one person having single dominance. It allows those individuals who are perhaps more soft spoken an opportunity to have a vocal voice in the discussion. It is also helpful to use when there are new team members who perhaps have yet gained the comfortability for sharing within the group. The NGT should help to keep the discussion flow balanced for all the topics or ideas. It should also help guide the discussion in such a way that limits the possibility of argumentive outbreaks. The NGT should produce a good mixture of quality ideas and help everyone to feel the involvement of working together as a group. The article, Nominal Group Technique: An Alternative to Brainstorming, lists some basic steps to follow when using this technique. The steps are (1) Individuals should be groups by five or six people. (2) Position question in open-ended format, ex: How can we best facilitate new changes within departments? (3) Allow for quiet time for individual brainstorming. (4) Present all ideas from each group by recording them on flipcharts; during this time no criticism only clarification for ideas expressed. (5) Everyone rate the ideas anonymously from most liked to not like. (6) Votes should be shared with everyone divulging the ideas with the most votes. (7) Short group presentations given for their ideas (joe.org, 2012). • What is the goal of the session?

• How will the nominal group technique be used to achieve this goal? • How will the members of the team work together? (guidelines for effective participation) • What specific steps and tasks...
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