Other BrainStorming Techniques:


Dialectics Decision Making


Delphi Decision Making Process

Decision MakingThe Delphi method was originally developed in the early 1950s at the RAND Corporation by Olaf Helmer and Norman Dalkey to systematically solicit the view of experts related to national defense and later in controversial sociopolitical areas of discourse (Custer, Scarcella, Stewart, 1999).

The term originates from Greek mythology. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world. Thus, the Delphi method may thought of as an expert brainstorm.

In Delphi decision groups, a series of questionnaires, surveys, etc. are sent to selected respondents (the Delphi group) through a facilitator who oversees responses of their panel of experts. The group does not meet face-to-face. All communication is normally in writing (letters or email). Members of the groups are selected because they are experts or they have relevant information.

The responses are collected and analyzed to determine conflicting viewpoints on each point. The process continues in order to work towards synthesis and building consensus.

The process works as follows:

The success of this process depends upon the member's expertise and communication skill. Also, each response requires adequate time for reflection and analysis. The major merits of the Delphi process are:


Custer, R. L., Scarcella, J. A., Stewart, B. R. (1999). The Modified Delphi Technique - A Rotational Modification. Journal of Vocational and Technical Education. Vol. 15, Num. 2, Spring 1999. Retrieved March 5, 2010: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JVTE/v15n2/custer.html