Yesterday, I spoke with the client. He asked me to investigate a new technology called “layers” on iOS.
He wanted to know if it could be leveraged.
I didn’t know what that was.
I can open the documentation of a developer and read it.
However, project managers do more than that.
Instead, I chose to use the Delphi Technique.
Here’s what I did.
Delphi Technique Example
You can’t use a tool or technique in project management as it is.
So I needed to gather information, make decisions, and get buy-in all at once from many stakeholders.
First, I decided who should I ask.
My development Team Lead – John. He can explain complex technical concepts in simple terms.
Next, Gregory, the company’s chief technology officer. He might have his own opinion.
I also need his support. He may be helpful in negotiations if we run into trouble.
However, that’s not all.
I would also like to hear from a Project Manager who has implemented it. He might be able to point out potential risks and real-life benefits.
So I spoke with a manager from the department. I was given some suggestions by her on which projects to visit.
Becky was the PM that I needed.
What’s next?
I had several questions.
Have you heard of this technology?
What are the benefits?
Do we need to make a change from what we are using today?
What are your risks?
This is the first round.
It’s simple. This is the same question I should ask all three experts I chose.
I speak with Team Lead immediately due to the realities of our environment. CTO was the only person I could call. I was able to reach Becky over the phone.
Communication method is not important. However, I don’t like to communicate via email.
Here’s the trick:
It is not possible to let them know you have spoken with others.
They will be biased to align their answers. It is safer.
So I was able to get all the answers from each individual.
Answers to questions 1, 2, and 4 were similar.
Let’s ask the question: “Should you make a change from what we use now?”
There are many answers:
“It is a must that you do it as soon and as quickly as possible.” “You may do it if you have the time.” You may not see the benefits. Performance improvement …”
That’s the second round of the question.
It was as follows:
“I learned that the performance benefits might vary. Is it possible to verify this for our application? Can we make the customer aware of the benefits?
Again, I ran the questions independently. I did not reveal the identity of the person in doubt about the benefits.
His or her opinion shouldn’t impact the decisions made by others.
There was round three.
After that, I had the opportunity to leave Delphi and enter a brainstorming session. What is the Delphi Technique?
The Delphi Method or Technique is a structured method for gathering information. It uses the input of unbiased experts.
Wikipedia has a great link for historical details.
Delphi Technique Process
It is a well-structured technique. It is a step by step process.
Choose the expert you wish to ask.
Make a list of the questions you are most interested in.
Give the list of questions to experts.
Find the answers.
Combine the information you have gathered into a document.
Please share the information with the experts again.
Collect feedback.
You, as a facilitator can decide how many rounds you want to run.
If you get the answers, they will be approximately similar. That’s it. Send the notes about your discovery.
There may be differences in opinions.
Next, gather feedback about why there are so many responses.
You will need to use your ability to analyze feedback. You will need to highlight the important points that require clarification.