The KJ-Technique: A Group Process For Establishing Priorities
Back in the late 1970's, the US government commissioned a study to look at effective group decision making. In the study, they asked 30 military experts to study intelligence data and try to construct the enemy's troop movements.
Each expert analyzed the data and compiled a report. The commission then "scored" each report on how well it reported the actual troop movements.
They found that the average military expert only got 7 out of a 100 elements correct.
Each expert then reviewed all of the other experts' reports and rewrote their initial assessment. The average accuracy for these revised reports was
79 out of a 100.
What was different between the first report and the second? The experts didn't have any new information. All they had were the perspectives of the other experts. When they added those perspectives to their own, their accuracy increased ten-fold.
We've got it down to an eight-step process that we can do with any size group in less than an hour.