The Nominal Group Technique (NGT)

The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is designed to promote group participation in the decision-making process. The Nominal Group Technique can be used by small groups to reach consensus on the identification of key problems or in the development of solutions that can be tested using rapid-change cycles.[1]

NGT typically includes four step [2]
(1) Silent generation of ideas in writing (Brainstorming): Working silently and independently, participants jot down their responses to a stimulus question.
(2) Round-robin recording of ideas: When called upon, each participant contributes a single idea that is recorded on a large flip-chart. Discussion of the ideas is not permitted. Completed sheets are taped to the wall so that they can be seen by the group. The group facilitator continues to call upon the participants until all ideas have been recorded or the group determines that they have produced a sufficient number of ideas.
(3) Discussion of the list of ideas: The participants discuss each idea on the list so that they are clear about the meaning of the ideas.
(4) Voting: The participants identify what each of them believes are the most important ideas, they rank-order their preferences (optional), the votes are recorded on the flipchart, and the voting pattern is discussed.

Use NGT when:[3]

  • Some group members are much more vocal than others
  • Some group members think better in silence
  • There is concern about some members not participating
  • The group does not easily generate quantities of ideas
  • Some or all group members are new to the team
  • The issue is controversial or there is heated conflict
  1. Defition - What Does The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) Mean? Niatx
  2. The Four Steps in The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) University of Arkansas
  3. When to Use The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) Asq