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The Delphi Technique: Definition & Example

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  • 0:00 The Delphi Technique
  • 1:07 Step-by-Step Process
  • 4:08 Technique Benefits & Drawbacks
  • 5:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Olga Bugajenko

Olga is a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner and has a master's degree in project management.

Learn about the Delphi technique, which allows experts involved in a discussion to reach a consensus about a project. We'll go through the steps and process, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of the technique.

The Delphi Technique

Ever heard the expression 'Two heads are better than one'? It another way of saying that usually people come up with better solutions to problems if they have other people to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of.

Well, if two heads are better than one, a panel of experts is truly great! The Delphi technique, also known as the Delphi method or Delphi forecasting, is a forecasting or estimating method based on a discussion by a group of experts.

The technique consists of several rounds of individual and anonymous questions to each expert, followed by a group discussion after every round. The latter allows participants to reflect and adjust their opinions. The process is usually repeated until a consensus is achieved, usually ending with three or four iterations.

While such discussions can happen in person, an alternative is to send out a series of paper or online questionnaires. In this case, a written summary of all responses is distributed to everyone after each round, instead of a group discussion.

Step-by-Step Process

The Delphi technique is useful for situations that allow for a range of scenarios or opinions, such as estimating the duration of tasks, identifying project risks and forecasting their probability, or allocating the resources.

Let's take a look at the steps by following John, a project manager who needs to estimate how long the construction of a skyscraper will take.

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