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.
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.
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 “when to use” section to ensure your ideas suit the criteria you’ll be voting for.
Vote as a team.
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.
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 next steps.
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.
Brainstorming is such a big part of ideation. But not everyone does their best work out loud and on the spot, yelling out thoughts and building on others’ ideas. Brainwriting is a brilliant solution for them—creative thinkers who happen to be more introverted. This approach and template invites participants to reflect quietly and write out their ideas, and then pass them to someone else who will read the idea and add to it. So you’ll get creative ideas from everyone—not just the loudest few.
Breakout groups provide an excellent opportunity for teammates to have candid conversations and connect on a more intimate level than is possible during a broader meeting. When you’re in a large group setting, it can be difficult for people to feel safe or comfortable speaking up. In a smaller group, participants can feel safer sharing their ideas. Since the group is more intimate, teams are empowered to participate rather than observe.
The Sailboat Retrospective is a low-pressure way for teams to reflect on how they handled a project. By defining your risks (the rocks), delaying issues (anchors), helping teams (wind), and the goal (land), you’ll be able to work out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on for the next sprint. Approaching team dynamics with a sailboat metaphor helps everyone describe where they want to go together by figuring out what slows them down and what helps them reach their future goals.
There’s no better way to kickoff a meeting or workshop than by building comfort and familiarity between your guests — to put them at ease and get them ready to participate and collaborate. That’s just the kind of human connection that ice breakers create, which make them great for remote gatherings or introducing new team members. There are many ice breakers to choose from, including: Describe yourself in one word. Share a photo of yourself as a baby. And if you were an animal, what would you be?
Even when you’ve hosted meetings for years, hosting them online is something altogether different. Keeping them structured, purposeful, and on-task is key. That all starts with having a detailed agenda, and this template makes it so easy for you to create one. The best part? Agendas are often dry and boring—but not here. We make it easy for you to sprinkle in your choice of graphics, colors, fonts, and images to give your agenda personality and creative style.
Optimized processes, improved flow, and increased value for your customers — that’s what the Kanban method can help you achieve. Based on a set of lean principles and practices (and created in the 1950s by a Toyota Automotive employee), Kanban helps your team reduce waste, address numerous other issues, and collaborate on fixing them together. You can use our simple Kanban template to both closely monitor the progress of all work and to display work to yourself and cross-functional partners, so that the behind-the-scenes nature of software is revealed.