When you are dealing with critical projects, it is important to know how future events can alter the course of projects. In order words, if a business problem arises you need to be prepared to solve it and move forward. When it occurs you need to be prepared to deal with it. In these situations, the Delphi technique can help a lot.
Delphi Technique is a method used to narrow down the causes of the problem and take necessary action to solve them. A group of specialists exchanges views and each individually gives their analysis of the problem. These opinions are reviewed by the facilitator to reach a general consensus about a problem and its solution.
Anonymity can be given to professionals to express their opinions openly which encourages openness in suggestions. With the Delphi technique, an organization can come to a consensus about the solution and also have a way to anticipate future events and their probability to cause problems.
Delphi technique uses an iterative process to solve a problem. It aims to get a wide range of opinions from different experts. Delphi technique functions in terms of rounds.
The answers received in the first round form the basis of the second round of questions. The results from the second round are used for third and so on. The goal of this process is to expand on the problem and determine its causes and develop techniques to solve the problem.
The first step would be to choose your organizer. You might take this responsibility by yourself, or find an unbiased person within your organization who also has knowledge about data selection and research.
The panel of experts can be project managers, customers or technicians in the company. The experts need to have relevant information and experience on the subject of the problem.
What is the problem? What is it about? The experts have to know the definition of the problem so as to ensure that they give you precise and comprehensive description.
The queries may go out in the form of the survey or questionnaire. Collect and summarize the replies, remove any irrelevant answers and look for a common theme in the problem.
Based on the answers to the very first questions, the next questions ought to delve deeper into the problem. These questions may also venture out in the form of a questionnaire or even survey. Again, summarize the results, remove any kind of irrelevant answers and build a consensus.
The final set of questions aim to focus on making decisions and come to an agreement on the solution to the problem. If required you can have more than three sessions to reach a consensus.
Analyze the findings and deploy resources to solve the problem. Keep a record of the execution of solution so as to use it in the future for the same or similar upcoming risks and problems.
Delphi Technique can be applied to today’s modern business challenges. Unlike the traditional brainstorming, Delphi Technique makes use of direct group interaction. The participants in brainstorming may not engage in conversation with each other which limits the reception of input from others and measuring the feasibility of solutions. The best thing about the Delphi technique is that one person can build their suggestions based on other’s ideas.
The application of the Delphi technique is not limited to solving problems. It can also develop new ideas for the organization and predict future events. For an organization where interaction between the members is lacking or have damaged relationships, Delphi can be used to resolve this problem and develop mutual respect between peers. When multiple experts are confronted with varying visions and it leads to developing of effective solutions.
Since Delphi other than providing an opportunity for group discussion it also gives scope for independently express their views with anonymity which increases participation among experts and gives everyone the chance to express their opinion.
Other than using views from the experts, customer reviews can also be used to solve the problem regarding a product or service. The independent interaction prevents distortion in the solutions as others could conform to the opinion of an elite expert participant in other setups.
Delphi technique is useful in predicting future obstacles when starting up a business. This helps to find solutions for common startup problems such as lack of finances, poor business planning, lack of marketing strategy, lack of dedicated team, etc. The high-quality recommendations and expertise of experts in the panel can be used to solve these problems in an effective way to successfully start a business.
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