Project Management

Delphi Technique

last edited by: Sean Whitaker on Sep 11, 2016 4:22 PM login/register to edit this page

1 Applications
2 Procedures
3 Instructions

A technique used to make decisions on complex issues by leveraging individual expertise. This technique is sometimes referred to as the "Wide-band Delphi" technique. A technique commonly used to estimate the probability and outcome of future events.


To make decisions particularly where a group of experts is available and the decision must be based on a number of qualitative criteria. For example, a cost estimate for a project can be produced using this technique.

The experts at each round have a full record of what decisions or opinions have been made, but they do not know who made it. Anonymity allows the experts to express their opinions freely, encourages openness and avoids admitting errors by revising earlier forecasts.


  1. Define the problem one is trying to resolve. This has to be clear, so that the expert group can provide a comprehensive definition
  2. Choose a facilitator, which needs to be a 'neutral' person, who is familiar with the topic to be discussed
  3. Identify a group of experts to be involved
  4. Have each expert evaluate the options independently - usually with a rationale
  5. Collate the evaluations
  6. Circulate the collected evaluations back to the entire group to contemplate the evaluations and rationalization of their peers, and then revise their evaluation. At this point you can identify the numbers of other experts but not identify them individually.
  7. Repeat the process of collating and re-evaluating until a consensus emerges.
  8. Based on the findings, perform a detailed analysis and put plans to deal with threats and opportunities on your project


The Delphi technique requires a structured question to be evaluated. The question or options may be defined using a variety of techniques such as brainstorming.

The Delphi process was developed for making collaborative decisions before there were tools such as WIKIs but lends itself readily to WIKI and or BLOG technology. In a WIKI variation, the moderator would post the question/decision and invite a group of experts to edit the posting. Each expert would make their edits and explain the rationale in the comments or in the body of the post. (It is essential to have a commenting ability.)

last edited by: Sean Whitaker on Sep 11, 2016 4:22 PM login/register to edit this page

Reviews (5)

Login/join to subscribe

"Military justice is to justice what military music is to music."

- Groucho Marx