Multi - Voting


To reduce a large number of ideas to a smaller number of priority items. This technique helps the team reach consensus on the most important ones.


Negative Voting: Removes items with obvious flaws or that are not acceptable to the whole team.

  1. Make sure every idea on the list is understood by each member of the team. This step is for clarification only, not critical discussion. The contributor of the idea is asked what he/she meant if it is unclear.

  2. Review the list item by item and ask "Are there any objections to eliminating this item/idea?" If anyone objects, the item should remain on the list. In this way, consensus is necessary to eliminate any idea.

N/3 Multi-Voting: N/3 provides a rank-ordered list showing the relative importance of each item.

  1. Count the number of items on the list (N) and divide by three. This is the number of votes each person has. (Round fractions off to the lower number.) If the items number more than 60, do not go over a vote total of 20. Vote totals of more than 20 are hard to manage.

  2. Have each team member use his/her votes to select the items/ideas he/she wants to keep. While team members can vote for any alternative, it is a good idea to limit the votes any one item/idea can receive from a single person to three.

  3. List alternatives in their new prioritized order.

  4. Critically discuss a selected few of the top alternatives. Eliminate those that are outside the control of the team.
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