Delphi Technique - Explained
What is Delphi Technique?
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What is the Delphi Technique?
The Delphi Technique is a structured forecasting method involving a panel of experts.
Typically, the panel of experts receives two or more rounds of questionnaires containing the same question.
The experts are allowed to answer the questions anonymously along with the reasons for their judgments.
After each round, a facilitator or change agent presents a summary of the responses received from the experts along with their arguments.
In the consecutive rounds, the experts are free to change their responses after analyzing the answers given by other panel members.
The rounds cease after reaching a pre-defined criterion.
The mean or median score of the final rounds is considered to be the correct response or forecast.
It is an effective method to reach the correct response through consensus.
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How is the Delphi Method Used?
The experts modify their responses based on the facts and arguments provided by other panelists. The discussions enable them to reach towards a correct response.
It was introduced by Olaf Helmer and Norman Dalkey of the Rand Corporation, in the 1950s.
The method is named after a priestess at a temple of Apollo in ancient Greece, Oracle Delphi.
The facilitator selects the panel members according to their expertise and sends out the questionnaire to each of them with specific instructions.
The experts form their arguments based on their experience and research.
The rounds continue until the predefined criterion it reaches, the criterion can be a number of rounds, achievement of consensus or stability of results.
It is a process to bring forward the diverse opinions of the experts in the field and reach a consensus without having them to meet physically.
The process may become too time-consuming and may lack the spirit of live interactions.
It may also become difficult to reach a consensus through this process as no direct communication takes place among the panelists.