Dot Voting

17 January 2005

From time to time during a meeting or workshop, it's good to get votes on a number things in order to rank or choose a subset. A quick and nice way to do this is dot voting.

  • List all the things to be voted on and put the list on a wall using a white-board or flip-charts.
  • Let each person make a fixed set of votes by a writing a dot next to the item they are voting for. Don't make people take turns or anything - just say something like 'you get five votes each'. They can make their votes at any time in any order. I also let people put more than one vote on one item if they want to show a strong preference.
  • Once everyone's done tally up the number.

I've used this to prioritize topics for discussion, vote design patterns off the island, and to choose a word to describe a new style of software development.