Delphi technique - American business
The Delphi technique—named after the Oracle of Delphi, to whom ancient Greeks would travel to seek advice about the future—is a marketing-management tool used by businesses for forecasting. Developed by the Rand Corporation, a major U.S. “think tank,” the Delphi technique utilizes an anonymous group of knowledgeable individuals to estimate future trends or sales. Like the jury of executive opinion, in the Delphi technique managers solicit the opinions of people both inside and outside the organization. A series of QUESTIONNAIRES
is used, and the results of each round of surveys are aggregated and returned to the participants until a consensus forecast is reached. The Delphi technique is more time-consuming and expensive to administer than a simple jury of executive opinion. Because the individual responses in early rounds are anonymous, it prevents one individual, often a senior executive, from influencing the others in the group. As individuals compare their initial forecast, either for sales or predictions about some future trend, they can modify or justify their estimates in future rounds. As a consensus is being reached, often the final rounds are conducted by bringing the group together for discussion.