The Delphi method is a consultation process which addresses experts of a given organization or subject. Companies and large organizations have been using this method to question in-house experts about future scenarios that are possible and/or desireable. The Delphi method aims at building consensus or identifying the lines of dissensus within a given organizational culture.
The method involves up to three consultation rounds in which each participant 1) expresses his/her views; 2) gets to know the other participant's views and reactions anonymously; 3) is granted the possibility to respond again, approaching a line of consensus or disensus.
All communication goes through questionnaires (these can be electronic), rather than face to face interaction, which guaranties anonymity within the group. This approach minimizes the risk of power relations distorting or preventing communication when individuals are gathered physically (roundtables, seminars, etc.). However, experience shows that participants welcome an extra round to discuss the previous rounds and results in a general meeting.
Tips: Mesydel is a computer tool which aims to faithfully implement the main features of a Delphi survey.