DELPHI VARIANTS OFFERED BY FORGNOSIS
The multi-round survey (ForgnosisTM) provides a sophisticated, universal, yet affordable solution
to any organization seeking specialized expertise on a given topic. It is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), SaaS with
consultancy support, and also in Platform as a Service (PaaS) mode due to its advanced survey design capabilities. Other features
include a novel trust, credibility and competence coefficient management system, facilitating the achievement of a consensus in
an efficient way, clustering replies conforming to the statistical analysis of reply distributions, concerning their unimodality,
clustering with k-means and Gaussian mixture identification algorithms [link], data imputation, correlation and causal analysis of
replies to different questions. Its web implementation enables decision support, both directly, through Delphi questions concerning
preferences, and indirectly, by building a decision model based on forecasts and scenarios derived from the Delphi survey.
Standard simple surveys. The online applications supporting the Delphi exercises are most often simple survey software
adapted to Delphi needs. They inherit a narrow scope of question types, most often confined to multiple-choice questions with Likert
scales [link] and single numerical entries, rudimentary descriptive statistical analysis, and no machine learning mechanisms. Only a few
Delphi-dedicated applications offering adequate statistical analysis are available on the market. Typical simple survey software offer
no inter-round and a scarce multi-round data management. Forgnosis support simple surveys, but offers an adequate statistical
analysis and trustworthy recommendations to the customer.
The development of online Delphi support systems made possible creating a variant of the method termed "real-time Delphi".
This variant allows experts to enter an unlimited number of updates to their opinions, while the interim results of the survey
can be seen immediately after an entry is made [link],[link]. If the replies are based on different prior information, this mode may
affect their independence and statistical significance.
The "decision Delphi" is a survey variant that corresponds most strictly to the needs of organizations that
look for expert knowledge concerning specific technological, market or other business problems. This type of survey also fits
the needs of medical research on future therapy, epidemics, health care issues, etc. Its characteristic feature is the
participation of the client’s staff or the decision makers themselves. The cloud-based application ForgnosisTM is a
modern implementation of a decision Delphi endowed with sophisticated analytic features.
The Wideband Delphi estimation method is the Wideband variant of the Delphi Method. This method is a
consensus-based technique for estimating effort, developed as a forecasting tool in the 1950-1970 (Barry Boehm, John A. Farquhar
and developed by Neil Potter and Mary Sakry). Compared to the Delphi Method, the Wideband Delphi Technique involved greater
interaction and more communication between the participants.
In Wideband Delphi the estimation team comprise the project manager who selects a moderator, experts, and representatives from
the development team, constituting a 3-7 member team. There are two meetings: kickoff meeting and estimation meeting.
During the kickoff meeting the estimation team creates a work breakdown structure (WBS) and discusses assumptions.
After the meeting, each team member creates an effort estimate for each task. The second meeting is the estimation session,
in which the team revises the estimates as a group and achieves consensus. After the estimation session, the project manager
summarizes the results and reviews them with the team, at which point they are ready to be used as the basis for planning the
Wideband Delphi method – steps:
- The project manager selects the estimation team and a moderator. The team should consist of 3 to 7 project team members.
The team should include representatives from every engineering group that will be involved in the development of the work
product being estimated.
At the kickoff meeting the moderator prepares the team and leads a discussion to brainstorm assumptions, generate a WBS and decide
on the units of estimation.
After the kickoff meeting, each team member individually generates the initial estimates for each task in the WBS, documenting any
changes to the WBS and missing assumptions.
The moderator leads the team through a series of iterative steps to gain consensus on the estimates. At the start of the iteration,
the moderator charts the estimates on the whiteboard so the estimators can see the range of estimates. The team resolves issues and
revises estimates without revealing specific numbers. The cycle repeats until either no estimator wants to change his or her
estimate or the estimators agree that the range is acceptable.
The project manager works with the team to collect the estimates from the team members at the end of the meeting and compiles the
final task list, estimates and assumptions.
- Review results.
The Wideband Delphi has been adapted across many industries to estimate many kinds of tasks, ranging from statistical data
collection results to sales and marketing forecasts.
Trend-discovery Delphi – Unlike extrapolation-based forecasting, this technique is based on specifying future
values of a forecasted variable, or probabilities of occurrence of a future event at different future time horizons.
Fused information from survey participants makes possible to estimate future trend values with random-fuzzy variables, or odds
related to a future event, the latter with a logistic regression. The method makes possible to estimate the year of occurrence
of a future event at a given certainty level, and its confidence interval.