iSixSigma

Enhancing GRPI with the Nominal Group and Delphi Techniques

Within Six Sigma’s change acceleration process, GRPI (goals, roles and responsibilities, process, and interpersonal skills) is a tool for team development. The GRPI model should be used in the following scenarios:

  • When initiating a new team and planning its first steps
  • When a team is not working well and it is not clear why

GRPI can be used not only for building high-performing teams, but also for sustaining the high performance of teams in these two additional ways:

  1. Mixing concepts of the nominal group technique with the GRPI model
  2. Cascading the GRPI model as the Delphi technique

This article highlights the benefits and use of these modified techniques and provides suggestions on which method to use in various business scenarios.

1. GRPI – Base Method

The facilitator typically gathers the team in one room and goes through the GRPI checklist with the members of the team. The objective is to reach consensus on an assessment of the current state of the team for each of the checkpoints, and then decide on the desired state for each of the checkpoints. Table 1 shows an example of this session’s results.

Table 1: Results of GRPI Analysis
 Scale (1 = low level of acceptance/current state, 10 = high level of acceptance/ideal state)
12345678910
GPurpose and Outcomes
Customer and Needs
Goals and Deliverables
Project Scope Definition
RRoles and Responsibilities
Authority and Autonomy
PCritical Success Factors
Plan and Activities
Monitoring and Measures
Schedule and Milestones
ITeam Operating Agreement
Interpersonal Relationships
Current State
Desired State

2. GRPI Mixed with Concepts of Nominal Group Technique

Nominal group technique (NGT) is a group method of decision making. It can be used in groups of large sizes while making sure each individual’s opinion is heard. By preventing an individual or individuals from overtaking a discussion and helping less vocal team members to participate, NGT results in the analyses of current and desired states.

Handpicked Content :   Well-run Process Improvement Teams a Key to Success

This method can be applied in one of two ways: collocated or distributed.

  • Co-located: Gathering all participants in a room. In this case, the facilitator can use a symbolic voting system (e.g., raising hands) or distribute paper-based checklist to collect responses on the current and desired states.
  • Distributed: If co-location is not possible or not desirable, the facilitator can use a survey to collect responses.

Both of these techniques are an extension of the original GRPI method. These are based on basic aspects of team dynamics and are particularly valuable when one or more of the following dynamics is observed:

  • Some group members are much more vocal than others.
  • Some group members think better in silence.
  • There is concern about some members not participating.
  • Anonymity needs to be maintained.
Handpicked Content :   How to Effectively Coach Green Belts and Black Belts

An example of the results of the distributed method on a project with 13 members is shown in Table 2. The numbers in the cells represents the count of responses. As in Table 1, the current state average is highlighted in blue and desired state average is highlighted in green. This chart and method provided insights into the spread of responses and also identified team members who needed more support. For example, there are three team members who need extensive support in understanding the purpose and the outcomes of the project; they rated themselves at level 2 on a scale of 1-10.

Table 2: Results of GRPI Analysis Combined With Nominal Group Technique
Scale (1 = low level of acceptance/current state, 10 = high level of acceptance/ideal state)
12345678910
GPurpose and Outcomes3163
⇒Target State49
Customer and Needs634
⇒Target State211
Goals and Deliverables127111
⇒Target State13
Project Scope Definition4342
⇒Target State58
RRoles and Responsibilities2224111
⇒Target State310
Authority and Autonomy2344
⇒Target State472
PCritical Success Factors553
⇒Target State94
Plan and Activities5332
⇒Target State13
Monitoring and Measures242131
⇒Target State4612
Schedule and Milestones124123
⇒Target State310
ITeam Operating Agreement3424
⇒Target State2371
Interpersonal Relationships124231
⇒Target State1129
Handpicked Content :   Process Improvement Teams Power Six Sigma Success

3. Cascading GRPI as the Delphi Technique

The Delphi technique stems from the idea that decisions from an organized group of individuals are more accurate than those from unstructured groups.

A panel of “experts” answers questions in two or more rounds. After each round, a facilitator provides an anonymous summary of the experts’ previous forecast and their reasons for such answers. The experts may revise their earlier answers in light of the other replies, which is expected to help the group agree to the “correct” answer.

In GRPI, this method is particularly useful when team members can tend to stick to their own views and are not inclined to accept other ideas.

In this Delphi/GRPI combination method, GRPI is enhanced by collecting qualitative responses. For example, in addition to asking team members to rate the current and desired states, ask them to provide their thoughts on the current state (e.g., what is the purpose and outcome of this project, what are our goals and deliverables, where can you find up-to-date information on goals) and what can help them get to the desired state. Collecting this qualitative data helps to better understand the current state. Consider using those responses to use in a follow-up GRPI survey (within a week’s time). This helps to quickly improve the current-state understanding of the team. The second round of GRPI will reflect increased understanding of the current state and a narrow spread (more responses near the center).

Handpicked Content :   The Five Challenges of Standard Work for Knowledge Workers
Table 3: Characteristics of the Three Methods
MethodPoint/Range EstimateLevel of DetailsTime RequiredAction Plan DevelopmentAnonymity
GRPIUsually ends up with a point estimateA lot of observations that may be made during the meeting are typically lostCan be used quicklyA generic approach is developedCannot be maintained
GRPI Mixed With NGTIndependent perspectives help understand a range (overall data can be represented as average and range)Can extend to stakeholder analysis – by considering team as a stakeholder, a deeper understanding of the team’s needs can be developed)Takes more time compared to open discussionA structured and targeted action plan evolvesCan be maintained in distributed method
Cascading GRPI As Delphi TechniqueIndependent perspectives help understand a range (overall data can be represented as average and range) and can help improve current state quicklyCan extend to stakeholder analysis (a deeper understanding of the team’s needs can be developed) – considering team as stakeholderThe most time consuming to facilitate, but yields quick resultsHighly structured and targeted action plan evolvesCan be maintained
Handpicked Content :   Grabbing Hold of the GRPI Model

 

Table 4: Select Between the Three Methods
MethodTeam SizeTeam DynamicsWork LocationStage of Team Development
GRPISmall to medium (maximum 15)Team members are open to each otherCo-located (or easy to co-locate)Norming/performing
GRPI Mixed with NGTMedium to large
  • When some group members are more vocal than others
  • When some group members think better in silence
  • When there is concern about some members not participating
  • When anonymity needs to be maintained
Co-located or distributedForming/storming
Cascading GRPI As Delphi TechniqueMedium to large
  • When some group members are more vocal than others
  • When some group members think better in silence
  • When there is concern about some members not participating
  • When anonymity needs to be maintained
Co-located or distributedForming/storming

Summary

By leveraging NGT and the Delphi technique, the GRPI model can be enhanced to:

  • Provide more insight into team dynamics (range estimate vs. point estimate).
  • Consider input from all team members.
  • Rapidly improve the current state of team performance.
  • Help sustain the high performance of the teams.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply