“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Working through a Discovery phase with a large team, choosing what the next steps should is best done through common consensus. The problem is with several people in the room each with differing opinions, finding a common consensus can be challenging.
This is wear dot voting comes into its own.
As you will have seen from previous posts, a lot of our Discovery has been done in the form of post-it notes on the wall. Working this way makes our information visual and allows many people to work together and consume the same data. An example of this was mapping our stakeholders: we wrote the roles of the stakeholders on post-its and put them on the wall. This gave us a clear vision of how many stakeholders were involved and how they grouped together or related to each other.
With an idea of who our stakeholders were, we needed to investigate more about them what their experiences, pains and needs were in relation to our current service delivery model in order to drive the Discovery process. However, you don’t need to investigate all of them in detail. Indeed if you were to do so you would never move on from the Discovery phase! But how do you choose which to focus on?
With the choices on the wall and in sensible groupings, hand each team member a marker pen and invite them to place a dot on the post-its that represents the direction they would like to go in next. Each person has 3 votes cost by drawing 3 dots. Once everyone has finished, you can see which post-it has the most dots.
You are likely to end up with three to five leading choices. In the case of stakeholders, we took these labels and started developing personas. However, we also applied this method to deciding which features to take through a design studio. In fact, you can apply it to anything.
Dot voting. A quick, simple way to gauge a common opinion among a group and decide which way you ought to go from here.