Delphi Method

Type of record:
  • Micro method
Handout PDF-Export Add experience
Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


The aim of the Delphi method is to unite the knowledge of different experts in order to achieve as reliable a joint forecast as possible in an innovation or problem area.

The method is based on the assumptions that experts know the future of their field better than others and that several experts do not forecast the future worse than an individual.

The Delphi method is a multi-level form of expert survey. The pre-selected experts are interviewed using a formal questionnaire about their assessments or judgments on the facts of interest. The results obtained are then evaluated and sent to the experts again if the opinion differs strongly.

An important prerequisite for the implementation of the Delphi method is the careful selection of experts. It is important to involve experts from different fields who can give an expert opinion on the question to be investigated.

In addition, a carefully prepared questionnaire is required which covers all relevant survey contents. Another success factor for the implementation is a qualified team that evaluates the questionnaires.

A typical example for the application of the Delphi method is the determination of development forecasts in the field of technology. In this context, the Delphi method can be assigned to trend research. Example: How is technology evolving in the field of battery life for notebooks?

The advantage of the Delphi method over other qualitative forecasting methods is that it is largely objective and free of extreme assessments due to the survey loops and the large number of surveyed experts.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for product innovations
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • Effective for technology innovations
  • P1 Understanding (identify innovation fields - problem solving)
  • P2 Analysis (problems - challenges - environment - people - products)
  • P5 Idea Finding (ideation - idea generation - creative phase - incubation)
Register now for free