The nominal group technique is a decision making method for use among groups of many sizes, who want to make their decision quickly, as by a vote, but want everyone’s opinions taken into account (as opposed to traditional voting, where only the largest group is considered) . The method of tallying is the difference. First, every member of the group gives their view of the solution, with a short explanation. Then, duplicate solutions are eliminated from the list of all solutions, and the members proceed to rank the solutions, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on. The numbers each solution receives are totaled, and the solution with the lowest (i.e. most favored) total ranking is selected as the final decision. There are variations on how this technique is used. For example, it can identify strengths versus areas in need of development, rather than be used as a decision-making voting alternative. Also, options do not always have to be ranked, but may be evaluated more subjectively.
This technique was originally developed by Delbecq and VandeVen , and has been applied to adult education program planning by Vedros.