Organise, sort and weight

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Introduction of some ways to moderate decisionmaking processes in a group.

Material Standard

Group Size 4-25 people

Keywords moderation, decisionmaking


Also interesting:


The participants write their topics or questions on a moderation card. In example, answering the question: "Which topics and questions should be the focus of this unit?"

  • The moderator collects now the cards and presents them, simultaniously clustering them on a wall or board (or supported by a co-facilitator).
  • Alternatively each participant introduces his or her card and clusters it on the board.
  • Or ask the participants directly for an answer, note it down in few words.

A co-moderator can cluster the answers in a way, that helps to work further with the outcomes. But how?

The Japanese concept of “seven management tools” has inspired many facilitators and managers how to cluster things. These ways help us to cluster and arrange information and make sense out of it:

Clustering: Affinity

Clustering-affinity-diagram.png Group what belongs together.

Clustering: Prioritize


Set ideas or words into a hierarchical order. The hierarchy can be defined by importance, by logics, power...

Clustering: Fishbone Diagram


Allocate cards in a row with causes at the left and effect(outcome) at the right. Sub-aspects might be ordered vertically.

Clustering: Problem Tree


Organise aspects along a cause and effect chain. The roots of the tree are causes that lead to the problem (the trunk). The aspects in the treetop are the consequences. This makes it clearer how things follow on from each other, or what the actual problem is that needs to be investigated.

Clustering: Interrelationship

Clustering-interrelation.png Alternatively, describe the way that things interrelate.

Clustering: Tree


Break broad categories down into details.

Evaluating with dots

Dotting a card

Example: Dots

Always when a decision should be made, we can do this easily by priorizing issues with dots. The question should be formulated by the moderator and been wrote on a flipchart. Now the participants can paint dots with markers or stick small stickers.

Other options



Assess with help of a scale (left). Here: positive and negative aspects of a meeting, advantages and risks - all possible opposites can span the scale.

Two dimensions

Measure in two dimensions (more: Targeted feedback). In example in the center is "I like" or "My expectations were fulfilled" or "the ideal", the sectors represent different aspects (like topical aspects of a training, dimensions for evaluation,...).

Give weight

In example, you want to choose 5 topics out of ten on a list. In this case every participants gets 5 stickers or is allowed to paint up to five dots near the topics, he or she is favorizing (right). You can decide if you want to allow, that participants can weighten aspects, in example by sticking all five stickers near one aspect.