Modified Delphi

Guidance on using the Survey Instrument

Welcome to the guidance page for the Modified Delphi Forecasting Instrument. This instrument can be used by organisations or change management professionals who want to find out how thought leaders in any field view their future and how these views shift over time. If you have not yet registered as a Survey Manager that is the first step. Please see How to Register as a Survey Manager. Once you have registered and have access to your account you can return to this guidance page. You may also want to take advantage of our video tutorials.


How to use the Modified Delphi instrument:

There are only five sections required to set up and manage surveys:

The first two are key for managing the pool of respondents and running your set of surveys. The last three are for managing the details of each of the surveys: their propositions, their Likert range scales and the invitation email templates.

The layout of your administration area has a menu for these five sections and a set of screens for each. We have focused on making navigation within each section simple, consistent and as intuitive as possible to use.


Respondent Management

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When you login as Survey Manager you can set up your group of respondents. Each individual in your pool of respondents, your experts, can be associated with any of the Surveys you then set up.

Here you can Add, Edit and Delete Respondents.


Survey Management

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Step two in the workflow is the Survey List screen which allows you to Add, Edit and Delete Surveys. When you Add or Edit a Survey, you are able to set its framework with the headings and subheadings for all pages and the opening and closing page texts.

On your Survey List you also have three further links for each survey to allow you to:

  • Add your Survey Respondents from your pool of Respondents
  • Assign the individual’s URL Survey links and send out their invitation emails. (There are tabs for both Round 1 and Round 2 versions of the Survey)
  • See the Survey Status for each Respondent which shows whether the email has been sent and whether the Respondent is still to start, has started or completed the Survey. This screen also allow the download of the current data for the Survey as a standards based text file (CSV) for use in a spreadsheet, database or graphing application.


Survey Propositions

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This is step three of the workflow where, as Survey Manager, you can build the propositions for your surveys:

  • This sections allows you to build proposition groups and then to populate them with propositions
  • The edit facility makes it possible to move propositions between surveys and groups as you work and there is also a blank default group should you decide to have a survey without grouping its propositions, though we would recommend it.


Survey Range Descriptions

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For step four of the workflow, this section allows the Survey Manager to set the text for the proposition ranges and the conditional popup texts when the survey detects a difference and will ask the respondent to provide further explanation of their position:

  • The manager can set the Likelihood and Desirability range "marker" texts either side of the radio button ranges to explain the scale from low numbers on the left to high numbers on the right.
  • The manager can set the texts for the conditional pop up boxes asking for further explanation. These are triggered by detection of a difference from the mean on Round 1 and from the respondent’s previous choice on Round 2.
  • The manager can also choose odd or even numbers for the Likert ranges and also whether to have an extended range if required for Round 2. There are also controls to allow the manager to select the size of the seeding group in Round 1 to establish the mean, before the conditional trigger fires and pops up a request for more information if a difference is detected. Lastly, for Round 2, if a greater range is chosen it is also possible to select a greater difference than 1 away from the previous choice if required for triggering the conditional pop up box requesting explanation.


Email Template Management

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This section allows the manager to set up and refine templates for the email invitations sent out to the Respondents:

  • The manager can use the template editor to add the place holders for personalising the invitation with First Name, Last Name and perhaps Organisation name and also the individual’s URL Link to click through to the First or Second Round of the Survey.
  • The manager can also use simple styling controls for the text using standard word processor controls for Bold, Italic, Lists, Indents and Text Colours.
  • To choose one of the templates for inviting respondents, it simply has to be selected as the current default in the email template list.


How to seek further help with the Modified Delphi Instrument

Managing Surveys using the Survey Instrument will not be for everyone, whether you are managing a programme for an organisation or providing consultancy services for others. If you would like a measure of consultancy support in conducting a Modified Delphi Survey, Information Management Associates (IMA) has significant experience in using the Modified Delphi approach as part of impact evaluation of programmes and in support of change management projects and and feasibiuity studies and can offer tailored consultancy at sector appropriate rates.

IMA can help with:

  • Identification of a relevant set of experts to engage with a research project in order to yield a worthwhile set of responses
  • Framing and phrasing of proposition sets to yield meaningful results for both qualitative and some quantitive analysis purposes
  • Data analysis and charting to yield significant results from survey data sets.

Please use the IMA Feedback Form to request consultancy support for a Survey project using the Modified Delphi Instrument.