New PMP® Exam 2021: 4 techniques to get consensus

Here are some techniques to get consensus you may be asked in the new PMP exam 2021.

1. Fist of Five:

Hand signals are a method for reading a room’s positions nonverbally. They work well with fewer than 250 people, especially with multi-lingual groups. The nature and meaning of individual gestures vary between groups. Still, a widely adopted core set of hand signals include: wiggling of the fingers on both hands, a gesture sometimes referred to as “twinkling”, to indicate agreement; raising a fist or crossing both forearms with hands in fists to indicate a block or strong disagreement; and making a “T” shape with both hands, the “time out” gesture, to call attention to a point of process or order.

One common set of hand signals is called the “Fist-to-Five” or “Fist-of-Five”. In this method, each member of the group can hold up:

  • a fist to indicate blocking consensus, one finger to suggest changes, 
  • two fingers to discuss minor issues, 
  • three fingers to show a willingness to let the issue pass without further discussion, 
  • four fingers to affirm the decision as a good idea, and 
  • five fingers to volunteer to take the lead in implementing the decision.
2. Roman voting:

Another set of hand signals is called “Roman voting”—everyone votes simultaneously.  Thumbs up signify a “yes” (or agreement), while thumbs down mean a “no” (or disagreement). Then, count the number of thumbs up and thumbs down. Depending on the decision-making rule (consensus or majority rules), the proposal either passes or fails.

A project manager or Scrum Master also may have each person in the group do one of three things:

  • Give a thumbs up  to indicate they want to keep talking about the current topic
  • Give a thumbs down  to indicate they want to move on to the next topic
  • Give a horizontal thumb  to indicate they could go either way (they don’t have a strong opinion)
3. Polling:

Consensus polling is a method of adducing consensus for a given proposal, using a structured polling method that can easily indicate how many people support a proposal and how many people are not yet in support of a proposal.

A consensus poll begins when a static contract (a document set out at the beginning of a poll, which describes the requirements that the poll must satisfy to succeed) is laid down setting out the poll requirements to succeed. A dynamic plan (proposal) is then formulated, which can be changed by the poll participants at any time. If a participant in the poll approves the proposal, they show their approval by indicating “yes”. However, if a participant in the poll disapproves of the proposal, they indicate that with “not yet”.

Once a specified number of people approve of the proposal, the poll enters the “go state”. If a poll remains in the “go state” for a specified length of time, the proposal succeeds. If not enough people support the proposal, then the poll is in the “stop state”.

4. Dot voting:

Dot-voting (also known as dotmocracy or voting with dots) is an established facilitation method used to describe voting with dot stickers or marks with a marker pen. In dot-voting, participants vote on their chosen options using a limited number of stickers or marks with pens — dot stickers being the most common. This sticker voting approach is a form of cumulative voting.

The dot-voting process includes the following steps:

Participants are each given a set number of dot stickers (as decided by the facilitator)

They place dot stickers next to options presented that they like (they may place any number of their dots on any number of the options)

Options with the most dots at the end of voting “win”.



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