Nominal Group Technique

Nominal Group Technique is a facilitated technique for brainstorming in groups.

Problems and Purpose

Nominal group technique (NGT) is "a structured method for group brainstorming that encourages contributions from everyone." [1]

Origins and Development 

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How it Works 

When to Use Nominal Group Technique:[1]

  • When some group members are much more vocal than others.
  • When some group members think better in silence.
  • When there is concern about some members not participating.
  • When the group does not easily generate quantities of ideas.
  • When all or some group members are new to the team.
  • When the issue is controversial or there is heated conflict.Nominal Group Technique Procedure

The materials needed for this technique include paper and pen or pencil for each individual, flipchart, marking pens, and tape.[1]

The nominal group technique process is generally as follows: 

"State the subject of the brainstorming. Clarify the statement as needed until everyone understands it. Each team member silently thinks of and writes down as many ideas as possible in a set period of time (5 to 10 minutes). Each member in turn states aloud one idea. Facilitator records it on the flipchart. No discussion is allowed, not even questions for clarification. Ideas given do not need to be from the team member’s written list. Indeed, as time goes on, many ideas will not be. A member may “pass” his or her turn, and may then add an idea on a subsequent turn. Continue around the group until all members pass or for an agreed-upon length of time. Discuss each idea in turn. Wording may be changed only when the idea’s originator agrees. Ideas may be stricken from the list only by unanimous agreement. Discussion may clarify meaning, explain logic or analysis, raise and answer questions, or state agreement or disagreement. Prioritize the ideas using multi-voting or list reduction." [1]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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See Also

Road Trains Summit 


[1] "What is Nominal Group Technique?" ASQ. Retrieved from

External Links 

Gaining Consensus Among Stakeholders Through the Nominal Group Technique: 

Nominal Group Technique: An Alternative to Brainstorming: 

Nominal Group Technique: 

Nominal Group Technique University of Arkansas: 

How to use the nominal group and Delphi techniques: 

The nominal group technique: a research tool for general practice?