Nominal Group Technique

Nominal Group Technique

The Nominal Group Technique is a kind of group-based brainstorming that significantly enables participation from all members resulting in more comprehensive and thoughtful solutions.

Nominal Group Technique

Nominal Group Technique. Image by

How Nominal Group Technique Works

  1. The moderator states the topic for brainstorming and ensures all participants are clear on the topic.
  2. All participants are given a set period of time (5-10 mins) to write their thoughts on paper.
  3. When finished, each idea is presented.
    • Continue for set period of time or until impractical
  4. Moderator transcribes ideas to a shared visual board.
    • Duplicate ideas are skipped or merged.
  5. Each idea is discussed by the group.
    • No idea may be eliminated without consensus.
    • Some ideas are merged.
    • New ideas may emerge and the moderator should capture them as well.
  6. Use Multivoting to select the path forward.

When to Use Nominal Group Technique

  • When you have shy team members.
  • When the team tends to defer to a single person or group of people.
  • When a team member hasn’t felt like their voice is being heard.
  • When teams think better in silence.
  • When there are controversial items to discuss.

Six Sigma Black Belt Exam Questions

Question: Which of the following tools should be used when a team is generating and prioritizing a list of options that include highly controversial issues?

(A) Brainstorming
(B) Affinity diagrams
(C) Nominal group technique
(D) 5 whys

Answer: (C) Nominal Group Technique. Brainstorming is a good answer, but incomplete. Affinity diagrams are useful for organizing the output. While 5 whys are a great way of getting to a root cause of an issue.


2 comments… add one
  • Praful2016

    is there difference between feasibility study and SWOT analysis or both of them are same?

    • Good question. They are close. A general feasibility study tends to assess the characteristics of an initiative. You could break it into sections; i.e. technical, economic, operational, scheduling, etc. A SWOT analysis looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. I see the SWOT as more of a competitive analysis while a general feasibility study looks at macro trends. And I would think a SWOT would be a great addition to a general feasibility study.

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