Multivoting is a technique that a team to vote on a long list of ideas into a manageable number of best options or top priorities. In other words, Multivoting is a way for a group to narrow down a list of choices down to a manageable few. While multivoting is NOT a decision-making tool, it is a great way to achieve consensus on an option that is most favored by the group. Generally, it follows the brainstorming technique.
A list of ideas can be generated by team’s brainstorming session. Having a list does not translate to action. Hence, Multivoting is a preferred method as it allows an idea to be favored by most of the team members or participants.
Multivoting helps teams to focus on problem-solving opportunities and identify high-impact items in an efficient way. Furthermore, multivoting is valuable decision-making tool as each member has a clear vision of how to reduce the list of items to a manageable portion and identify high-impact items. Particularly this method allows each individual in the team to participate actively in the decision-making process. Voting can be conducted by a show of hands as each item is announced otherwise participants can stick the adhesive dots next to each item on the flipchart. Usually, items receiving fewer votes say 0-4 might be ignored.
There are several benefits to using the multivoting technique:
- Each individual participates in the decision-making process.
- Simple and straightforward process.
- It is easy and quick to implement.
- A simple technique to choose the most significant or highest priority item from a list.
- Opportunity to discuss pros and cons of the project.
- Creates commitment to the team’s decision.
When to use Multivoting
Often, there are too many lists of items for a team to work on at a single time. Apply Multivoting when the group has a lengthy list of possibilities and wants to specify it in a small list for later analysis and discussion. It is applied after brainstorming for the purpose of selecting ideas.
How to Use Multivoting
- List all of the possible choices that the team must decide from and eliminate if any duplicate exists. Use the Affinity diagram to manage a large number of ideas and to eliminate duplicates
- Assign numbers to all ideas for recordkeeping
- Decide how many votes each teammate will have
- Participants normally have a number of choices equal to one-third of the listed items. Take the total number of ideas or items and divide by 3. This gives you the number of votes (v) each person gets.
- Ex. 12 items / 3 = 4 votes for each person
- Each person has those number of votes to place on any of the options.
- Allow participants to choose several items that they feel are most important
- A team member may put all of their votes on one topic or distribute them as they see fit.
- Ex. Mary puts 2 votes into option A, 1 vote on option B, and 1 vote on option C. While Bob puts all 4 votes on option C.
- Tally the votes and also record the totals next to each idea
- The option with the most votes is the most preferred by the group and also eliminates those items with the fewest votes.
Example: XYZ organization listing the potential quality improvement opportunities from the brainstorming session. A 20-member team actively participated in the voting. Small circle symbols indicate the votes for each item received during the multivoting exercise.
- List all of the possible choices and assign numbers to all ideas
- Decide how many votes each teammate will have: 15 items / 3 = 5 votes for each person
- There are 20 members in the team, and each person will get 5 votes to place on any of the options. So 20*5=Total 100 votes
- A team member may put all of their votes on one topic or distribute them as they see fit
- Small circle symbols indicate the votes for each item received during the multivoting exercise
- Tally the votes and record the totals next to each idea
- The option with the most votes is the most preferred by the group and also eliminates those items with the fewest votes (say 0-4 votes).