Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Group Decision Making And Consensus Building Online: ThinkTank - Video Intro

The ability to organize effective group decision making processes and to effectively build consensus around key issues and problems has been a challenging task from the dawn of time. If you now add the need to facilitate the building of consensus among groups of geographically distant individuals the mission may seem altogether prohibitive.

But as group decision making is such a central and strategically critical activity in today's modern business landscape, an increasing number of companies has been focusing its efforts in developing collaborative decision making tools that could be operated even by groups of distant individuals.

Photo credit: Group Systems ThinkTank

One such tool is Group Systems' ThinkTank, a web-based group decision making workspace built around collaborative group intelligence most recent research and studies.

ThinkTank allows for one-click access to an online group facility designed to ease the rapid flow of multiple ideas and to facilitate the decision-making process and the reaching of a consensus in virtual, real-time or asynchronous meetings.

By leveraging the power of anonymity, integrating easy to use brainstorming tools, and throwing in a feature set that gives you drag and drop information sorting, instant polling, and the ability to automatically generate polling graphs ThinkTank sets itself apart from the small circle of decision-making support tools. ThinkTank also integrates the ability to export full report proceedings to any of the major popular formats including Microsoft Word and Excel. Overall, ThinkTank ease of use and interoperability features offer key competitive advantages making this Lotus Sametime add-on a potentially highly valuable strategic partner in developing consensus and new ideas around any topic or issue.



In this short video remix of ThinkTank's own intro video , you can get a good walkthrough its key features. Follow me in seeing how easy and effective it can be to create a seamless collaborative workflow, from the simple and anonymous contribution of ideas to the climax of a full-blown live brainstorm session, to the intellectual gratification of a final analysis report.

Photo credit: Group Systems ThinkTank

Built using a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) with many of the latest open-source components, ThinkTank is reliable, fast, highly scalable while being able to be easily integrated easily with other applications.

Here a rundown of its key features:

  • Browser Access:
    Sessions can be managed or joined from anywhere, using any computer... for ease of use
  • Presence Control:
    Instant capability to know session members and their status
  • Agenda:
    Intuitive agenda with drag-and-drop menus that make it easy for a leader to organize effective sessions
  • Meeting Wizard:
    Automatically creates email invitations, sets up session URLs and emails this information to the selected participants
  • Categorizer:
    Assists meeting participants in three common group activities: generating lists of ideas, brainstorming comments that elaborate on/or support the ideas and organizing the ideas into categories
  • Alternative Analysis:
    Enables the team to rate a list of alternatives against as many criteria as desired, then immediately view the degree of group consensus on an item. Supports collaborative efforts such as:
    1. Analyzing the strength and weaknesses of products and services

    2. Exploring the merits of proposed policies or strategic plans

    3. Developing consensus within a group by pinpointing and encouraging discussion about areas of disagreement

    4. Prioritizing requirements for new software projects

    5. Allocating resources among projects, departments or services
  • Rank Order Vote:
    This voting tool allows participants to "stack rank" ideas in order of preference and then view the entire team's opinions and the degree of consensus. Intuitive graphs make it easy for the team to grasp
  • Participant Rights:
    Allows the leader to configure the session participants' accessibility to certain meeting functions and/or information
  • Meeting Reports:
    Dramatic charting and visual graphing plus organization of information to enhance group reports (charts, graphs and reports are instantly available)
  • Pricing and Licensing:
    ThinkTank(TM) is licensed in different ways depending on the needs of the company buying it. Here are the three main options:

    1. On-demand events (3-day minimum)

    2. Hosted on GroupSystems servers

    3. Installed license on your servers

Want to see for yourself? Check out ThinkTank free-trial account.

For more information see:

Michael Pick and Robin Good -
Reference: GroupSystems
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posted by Michael Pick on Saturday, September 16 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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