2012/11/05 12:30 Fan Dong, Kelly Lyons, “Collaborative Decision Making: An Implementation of the Delphi Approach in a Social Platform”

Cascon 2012: Technical Paper Presentations, Session 1 – Database Management and Clouds

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Presentation by Kelly Lyons, on behalf of primary author Fan Dong

Research was supported by SAP and NSERC

Fan Dong was master’s stduent, now at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest

  • Other researchers are at SAP

SAP Streamwork, tried with Delphi method

Collaborative decision-making:  DeSantcis & Gallupe

  • Divergence phase
  • Convergence phase

Three activities

  • Information sampling
  • Information exchange
  • Information processing

Unstructured meetings

  • Problems:  only one person can talk, synchronous, may recall information but may not be accurate or complete, could have social structure effects (boss)

Organizations have implemented structured meetings

  • Highly administered
  • e.g. IBM ACT (Accelerate Change Today), everyone writes 5 ideas on recipe cards, facilitator helps people read out cards, then sticky page on wall — divergences — and then people could move around cards, vote with sticky dots — convergence
  • Helps process be less influenced by social-emotional, more focus, surfacing of nonconforming ideas

1960s example: Delphi decision technique

  • Emergent phase then convergent phase
  • People wouldn’t see who contributes what, anonymous
  • Coordinator summarizes, removes duplicates, passes back to experts iterate

Features of Delphi

  • Iterative
  • Anonymity

Group Decision Support Systems (GDSSs)

  • As simple as a computer phone, Skype, video
  • Could have computer terminals, structure provided through the tool, telepresence
  • More and more, see social features being added

How can social features (e.g. in social networking technologies) support collaborative decision-making.

Social features (from S-FIT: A Technique for Integrating Social Features in Existing Information Systems, Kelly Lyons and Lysanne Lessard, http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2132176.2132210 ).

  • User profiles
  • Articulated networks (directed and undirected following)
  • Communities and groups (e.g. swim team)
  • User generated content (UGC)
  • Contribution to UGC

SAP Streamwork, used in research group, and with SAP

  • Can function as a GDSS
  • Can define decision activities, e.g. decide on a task, including SWOT analysis, brainstorming (ranking/rating)
  • Also a social system
  • Has user profile, contact information, phone number
  • Can direct graph, i.e. followers
  • Can set up group, e.g. current students
  • Can contribute content, e.g. activity to set up a meeting with background documents; can update status, people can respond / like

Can we understand how old fashion tools (with anonymity, structure) work with the current research?

  • Current tools aren’t anonymous, don’t have structure

Fan set out to implement the Delphi decision-making process in Streamworks

  • Idea generation and decision-making, where there aren’t right/wrong answers (e.g. a restaurant for lunch)
  • Two-step Delphi technique:  brainstorm, then ranking
  • Decision making group was diverse and unknown to each other, but eventually turned out to be homogenous
  • Evaluated with satisfaction with experience; no right/wrong means can’t report on outcome

Delphi, people come together, brainstorm, remove duplicates, rank

Had to figure out, how to deal with a coordinator, set as the person who initiated the activity

  • On Streamwork, could see who’s online, but then could then attribute ideas to people, so had to disable
  • To comment / update on something, change to say “someone comment”
  • Couldn’t reform content
  • Modify to make anonymous, e.g. brainstorming, can only see own, ranking see own, voting where people could vote for more than one

Brainstorming before and after

Evaluation:  Thought anonymity enhanced colloboration

Future: Can social features be used to enhance decision-making?

  • In this case, actually disabled to social features


Not liking the tool?

  • Recently implemented gamification in Streamworks, people said “can’t we just talk to each other”
  • Have found that it could be more effective as anonymous

People want to have attributed ideas?

  • Yes, could do with a decision tree, type of platform
  • Delphi may not be appropriate to everyone

Conference support systems

  • Depends what you want to do
  • In discussing papers, we may want to know where the voice is coming from

Do we need another social network tool specific to this?

  • Interested in how we could take an existing tool, and insert new features.

Other types of systems?

  • Other people doing something similar, e.g. recommender steps
  • Just need to find the right one for path

#delphi, #gdss, #group-decision-support-system