Multivoting is a technique used to narrow down and prioritize a large list of ideas. Multivoting can be helpful in determining which ideas to pursue at the end of a brainstorming session. This technique is sometimes known as the N/3 technique. The instructions for performing this technique vary by the source, so we’ve put together an amalgam of everything we could find.
Here’s how (we say) it’s done:
Assign a letter to each list item so there’s no confusion over the ideas on which board members are voting.
The group votes. Each group member may cast multiple votes. The number of votes a member may cast is equal to one third of the number of available options (hence, N/3).
Some sources say you should eliminate options depending on the number of votes they receive and the size of the group.
Less than 5 members: Eliminate options with less than 2 votes.
6 to 15 members: Eliminate options with less than 3 votes.
More than 15 members: Eliminate options with less than 4 votes.
Tally the votes.
Repeat until you have a list you’re comfortable with.
The goal may not be to whittle the list down to a single item. You can vote as many times as the situation demands.
Multivoting is simple. It bears a lot of similarities to Nominal Group Technique and the two are sometimes (incorrectly) used interchangeably. That’s likely why instructions for using the Multivoting Technique vary so widely. However, we’re hoping this sets the record straight for inquiring minds with an interest in decision-making strategies which borders on unhealthy.
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