When you wan to pick the best idea, you should try, Card Sort, one of our favorite facilitation tools. Card Sort will help you to rank you ideas.

Download a copy of Card Sort or check our all of our facilitation tools.

How to Card Sort (assuming 10 options):

  • Write each option on a separate index card
  • Next pick the option you like best, and write a “1” on it; turn it upside down
  • Pick the option you like least, and write the total number of cards on it (in this case, “10”); turn it upside down
  • Of the cards remaining, pick the option you like least, and write the total number of cards minus one (in this case, “9”); turn it upside down
  • Of the cards remaining, pick the one you like best, then write “2” on it
  • Continue alternating between “like least” and “like best” with the remaining cards. Number the “like least” options counting backwards from the total (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, etc.) and the “like best” starting with number 1 then 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. until done

How to card sort in groups:

  • Each person follows the process on the front of this card. Create a grid with options across the top and names along the left side. Drop in everyone’s rankings.
  • Look for areas of disagreement (“Pat has this option as number 1, but it was Shawn’s least favorite…Pat, tell us why you like it best? Shawn, why did you like it least?). The discussion is critical for generating creative solutions that work for the entire team.
  • If you get stuck, repeat the entire process again—a good discussion will begin to sway opinions.

When to employ a card sort:

  • To rank order a number of ideas
  • Best with more than three ideas, but not many more than 15

 

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