Multi-voting as a Team Decision Tool

Multivoting is a group decision-making technique used to reduce a long list of items to a manageable number by means of a structured series of votes. The result is a short list identifying what is important to the team.

When to use?

  1. Reduce a large list of items to a workable number quickly, with limited discussion and little difficulty.
  2. Prioritize a large list without creating a situation in which there are winners and losers in the group that generated the list.
  3. Identify the important or popular items on a large list.

How to use?

Step 1 

Work from a large list of items developed by Brainstorming or another appropriate idea-generating technique.

Step 2

Assign a letter to each item to avoid confusion of item designations with the vote tally.

Step 3: Vote

  • Each team member selects the most important one-third (or no more than one-half) of the items by listing the letters which appear next to those items. For example, if there are 60 items, each person should choose the 20 items (one-third of the total) he or she thinks are most important.
  • Each team member may cast only one vote per idea and must cast all allotted votes.
  • Voting may be done either by a show of hands or by paper ballot when the team chooses to preserve confidentiality.

Step 4: Tally the votes

Place a checkmark next to each item for each vote it received.

Retain the items with the most votes for the next round of voting:

  • If the team has 5 or fewer members, eliminate those items that receive 2 or fewer votes.
  • If the team has 6 to 15 members, eliminate all items that receive 3 or fewer votes.
  • If the team has more than 15 members, eliminate all items that receive 4 or fewer votes.

Step 5: Repeat

In the second round, each person again selects the top one-third of the items.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until only a few items remain. Never multi-vote down to only one item.

The items that were not identified as priorities should be retained as backup data or for future use by the team in its improvement efforts.


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Dr. Khalid Abulmajd

Healthcare Quality Consultant

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