Better prioritize items and make decisions as a group. The Dot Voting Template helps you bring teams to an agreement effortlessly.
About the Dot Voting Template
Dot voting (also known as “sticker voting,” “dotmocracy,” or “voting with dots”) helps teams improve decision-making, making sure every voice is heard and taken into account. A dot voting method is also an excellent tool when teams need to prioritize what action to take first when presented with many different options.
Keep reading to learn more about the Dot Voting Template.
What is dot voting
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 be cast for one idea or distributed among many ideas. Consider all votes equally since the aim is to reach an agreement quickly.
Think of dot voting as a survey or polling method to understand what ideas or tasks a team considers the highest priority. Cast votes by posting a dot next to the preferred option.
Everyone on your team must dot vote simultaneously 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 highest number of dot votes.
When to use a Dot Voting Template
Many product and UX design teams use the Dot Voting Template to prioritize tasks or agree on a direction to take for a high-stakes project. Other teams can also benefit from the dot voting method, especially when there is a need for consensus in a project.
To facilitate a dot voting session, you can copy this Dot Voting Template and use it on a new board or add it to any other existing 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) and Ctrl+V (paste).
How to apply the dot voting method
Product and UX teams use Dot voting 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 make this method fair and valuable 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 those with the highest acceptance dot votes and the 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 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
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.
2. Let your team know about voting criteria and constraints
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 “how to apply” section to ensure your ideas suit the criteria you’ll be voting for.
3. Vote as a team
Use it 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 the quiet voting time, either.
4. Calculate the results
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 the next steps.
5. Narrow down your options and revote if needed
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.
How does dot voting work?
After you have all the options that need to be chosen or prioritized on the board, calculate how many votes each team member will have. A good practice is that the dots for each person equal 25% of the total options on the board. Then, set the rules for the voting. Afterward, set the timer and ask people to cast their votes. Finalize the session, counting the votes and discussing with your team the results of the voting session, e.g. what to prioritize based on the majority of the votes.
Which teams should use dot voting?
Dot voting is popular amongst UX designers and product teams, but any other team can benefit from it. This methodology is a great tool for making decision-making more equal, and it brings effectiveness to sprint planning and prioritization of tasks.