Delphi Method
(Gordon, Helmer, Dalkey)

Knowledge Center



Summary, forum, best practices, expert tips and information sources.

Contributed by: Mark Mattingley-Scott

31 items • 430.717 visits


Summary

What is the Delphi Method? Description

The Delphi method from T.J. Gordon, Olaf Helmer, and Norman Dalkey is a technique that can be used to structure a group communication process to deal with a complex problem. The Delphi Method is based on the Dialectical Inquiry approach: Thesis (establishing an opinion or view), Antithesis (conflicting opinion or view) and finally Synthesis (a new agreement or consensus). The synthesis then becomes the new thesis. It helps to build consensus about a particular complex topic. Without the necessity for the contributors to meet in person. A panel of experts formulates a set of hypotheses about the future state of the topic in question. These are distributed to the participants. Their anonymous comments then get integrated into modified hypotheses. The iterative process continues until consensus is achieved on the hypotheses.
 

Origin of the Delphi Method. History

Of course, the method originates from the modus operandi of the Greek Oracle at Delphi. The modern Delphi concept was a spinoff of defense research. "Project Delphi" was the name given to a Rand Corporation study, starting in the early 1950s, and sponsored by the US Air Force. The study concerned the usage of expert opinion. The objective of the original study was to "obtain the most reliable consensus of opinion of a group of experts ... by a series of intensive questionnaires interspersed with controlled opinion feedback". A 1964 report (by Gordon and Helmer) assessed the direction of long-term trends in science and technology development. The report covered such topics as scientific breakthroughs, population control, automation, space progress, war prevention and weapon systems.


Usage of the Delphi Method. Applications

  • Forecast a specific, single-dimension future issue.
  • Consensus building.
  • Avoiding Groupthink and the Spiral of Silence.
  • Generating creative ideas.

Steps in the Delphi Method. Process

Fowles (1978) describes the following ten steps for the Delphi method:

  1. Formation of a Delphi team to undertake and to monitor the project.
  2. Selection of one or more panels to participate in the exercise. Customarily, the participants are experts in the investigation area.
  3. Development of the first round Delphi questionnaire.
  4. Testing the questionnaire for proper wording (e.g., ambiguities, vagueness).
  5. Transmission of the first questionnaires to the panelists.
  6. Analysis of the first round responses.
  7. Preparation of the second round questionnaires (and possible testing).
  8. Transmission of the second round questionnaires to the panelists.
  9. Analysis of the second round responses. (Steps 7 to 9 are reiterated as long as desired or necessary to achieve stability in the results.)
  10. Preparation of a report by the analysis team to present the conclusions of the exercise.

Strengths of the Delphi Method. Benefits

  • Rapid consensus.
  • Participants can reside anywhere in the world.
  • Coverage of wide range of expertise.
  • Avoids Groupthink.
  • Forecasting a specific, single-dimension question.

Limitations of the Delphi Method. Disadvantages

  • Cross impact is neglected in the original form.
  • Does not cope well with paradigm shifts.
  • Success of the method depends on the quality of the participants.
  • One should watch out for:
    • Imposing preconceptions or Monitor's own view.
    • Ignoring and not sufficiently investigating disagreements.
    • Underestimating the demanding nature of the Delphi Method.

Assumptions of the Delphi Method. Conditions

  • Well-informed individuals, using their insights and experience, are better equipped to predict the future than theoretical approaches or extrapolation of trends.
  • Complex problem.
  • Participating experts have no history of adequate communication.
  • Experts should represent diverse backgrounds with respect to experience or expertise.
  • Exchange of ideas in a meeting is impossible or unpractical.
  • Disagreements are grave or politically unpleasant.

Special Interest Group

Join

Delphi Method Special Interest Group.



Special Interest Group (76 members)

Forum

New Topic

Forum about the Delphi Method.


Conditions for using the Delphi Technique?
I want to use the Delphi technique for my PhD dissertation in the banking sector with the title "Setting up a retail ban (...)
5
 
1 comments
Minimal Number of Experts in Delphi
What are the minimum acceptable numbers of experts in the first round up to the final round? (...)
4
 
2 comments
Why is it Called: Delphi Method?
Question: Why did they name it the Delphi Method? (...)
3
 
2 comments
🔥 NEW Can we Have Two Expert Panels in Delphi?
When we would like to create a Minimum Data Set, is it OK if we send a list of items with a Likert scale to a group of r (...)
1
 

 

Best Practices

The top-rated topics about the Delphi Method. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.


Expert Tips

Advanced insights about the Delphi Method. Here you will find professional advices by experts.


Implementing Delphi in a Business Environment

Simplified Delphi Implementation
The Delphi technique can only be applied successfully in the business world when: - The experts clearly understand the (...)

Other Delphi Techniques, Delphi Variants

Applying the Delphi Method
Originally the Delphi method has aimed to achieve a group consensus of the most probable future by iteration. Since then (...)

The Advantages of Group Decision-Making

Group Decision-Making
The benefits of group decision-making include: - Synergy: Group decisions tend to combine and improve on the knowledge (...)

Concerns and Pitfalls in Applying the Delphi Method

Delphi Method Implementation
Makridakis and Wheelright (1978), as well as Martino (1978), have mentioned following major concerns about the Delphi me (...)

The Disadvantages of Group Decision-Making

Group Decision-Making
The drawbacks of group decision-making include: - Longer time frame: Groups generally need more time to make decisions (...)

Application Areas of Delphi Method

Usages and Ideas for Applying Delphi Approach
In addition to the traditional use of the Delphi method as a forecasting procedure, a variety of other application areas (...)
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding the Delphi Method. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.


Delphi Technique

Delphi Method Education
Presentation by Roger Lee on the Delphi Method includes: 1: Definitions 2: Historical Perspective 3: Usage of the Del (...)

Integrative Thinking In-depth

Integrative Thinking, Opposable Mind, Integrative Thinkers, Paradox, Synthesis
Extensive presentation about integrative thinking, including the following sections: 1. Learning objective 2. Structur (...)

Applying Creative Thinking to Complex Business Problem Solving

Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Complex Problem Solving Techniques
This presentation focuses on creative thinking as a useful tool for dealing with complex business issues. It includes th (...)

Individual Decision Making and Group Decision Making

Decision Making Process, Groupthink, Decision Making Styles, Vroom-Yetton Method
Presentation about Decision Making by groups and individuals. The presentation includes the following sections: 1. Know (...)

Research Links

Automatically jump to further useful sources regarding the Delphi Method.


News Videos Presentations Books More

News

Videos

Presentations

Books

More


Compare with Delphi Method: Brainstorming  |  Mind Mapping  |  Groupthink  |  Spiral of Silence  |  Six Thinking Hats  |  Metaplan  |  Scenario Planning  |  Game Theory  |  Cause and Effect Diagram  |  Root Cause Analysis  |  8D Problem Solving  |  Dialectical Inquiry  |  Analogical Strategic Reasoning  |  Pyramid Principle  |  Theory of Constraints  |  Johari Window


Return to Management Hub: Communication & Skills  |  Decision-making & Valuation  |  Strategy & Innovation


More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group

Do you have a keen interest in the Delphi Method? Become our SIG Leader

 


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2021 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.8 - Last updated: 8-12-2021. All names ™ of their owners.