dot-voting-webdot-voting-web

Dot Voting Template

Prioritize items and make decisions as group.

About the Dot Voting Template

Dot voting (also known as “sticker voting,” “dotmocracy,” or “voting with dots”) lets teams point out issues in a series of potential solutions. Teams can also use dot voting to prioritize what to action first when presented with many different options.

Dot voting is different from the default “one-share” or “one-vote” rule. Instead, each person in the group is given as many votes (or “points”) as can be filled. Those votes can either all be cast for one idea, or distributed among many ideas. 

Consider all votes equally. The aim is to reach an agreement quickly. 

Keep reading to learn more about dot voting.

What is Dot Voting

Dot voting can be used as a survey or polling method to understand what ideas or tasks a team considers to be the highest priority. Cast votes by posting a dot next to the preferred option. Each team member gets multiple votes, which they are free to cast as they wish: either all toward one idea or distributed across several. 

Everyone on your team dot votes at the same time, rather than in turns. This helps reveal group priorities rather than the opinion of the most influential team member. 

The dot voting facilitator or team manager counts the final votes at the end of the timed voting session. They can point to preferred ideas, ranking them in priority by going in the order of the highest number of dot votes. 

When to use Dot Voting

You can use dot voting any time your team prioritizes options or agrees on a direction to take for a high stakes project. Copy this dot voting template over as a new component to any brand new template or customized Miro Board

First, select all elements on the board using Ctrl+A/Cmd+A shortcut. Then you can copy and paste onto your preferred Miro Board (or any Miro Board element) using Ctrl+C (copy) Ctrl+V (paste)

Dot voting is often used during sprint retrospectives. This method can often lead to false or confusing results, so it’s best to keep a few tips in mind to maintain this method as fair and useful for everyone ...

  • Avoid “group think”: 

  • No dot voter should feel pressured to add dots to the most popular item – instead, they should vouch for what they think is worth prioritizing. 

  • Look for the “lowest resistance” – not just the greatest approval: 

  • The options with the highest acceptance level in the group are the ones with the highest acceptance dot votes and lowest number of resistance dot votes (you can allocate a color, such as red, to represent negative votes). 

  • Avoid similar-sounding options: 

  • Try to spot these options earlier – ideally, combine specific and similar-sounding ideas to a single option. For example, instead of choosing between a fruit basket and six different types of cookies, turn the options into either a fruit basket or cookies. 

  • Keep the number of options as low as possible: 

  • Do an options audit before voting to avoid team or voter overwhelm. 

  • Clarify expectations beforehand: 

  • What are your goals and criteria for voting? Make sure everyone knows before dot voting. 

Create your own Dot Voting exercise

Making your own dot voting exercise is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the Dot Voting Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.

  1. Be clear about your voting goals.

  2.  Remind your team about why you’re voting and what you'll use the results for. Remind your team how many equal votes everyone has – remember, everyone always has more than one in a typical dot voting session. 

  3. Let your team know about voting criteria and constraints.

  4.  Will the vote be going towards deciding potential product features? In that case, your developers may lean toward feasibility as criteria, whereas designers would vote based on user impact. Revisit the best practices listed in the “when to use” section to ensure your ideas suit the criteria you’ll be voting for. 

  5. Vote as a team.

  6.  Use 

  7.  to give everyone a chance to vote in silence. The conversation should only restart after everyone has finished voting. No one should be influencing each other to vote a particular way during quiet voting time, either.

  8. Calculate the results.

  9.  The manager or group facilitator can now count the votes after the team has voted. As a team, you can discuss why the most highly ranked ideas or solutions were picked and map out next steps. 

  10. Narrow down your options and revote if needed. 

  11. Noticed you have a tie between two ideas? Still think you have too many options to choose from? To reestablish a clear winner, you can revote by distributing the same number of votes to narrow down your top options again.

Dot Voting Template

Get started with this template right now. It’s free

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