PathMaker's consensus builder tool is to help teams discover "shared thought" through multivoting, rating and discussion. This helps teams whittle down long lists, choose the best options, and reach the point where a well considered decision can be made.

The unique matrix framework for the consensus builder tool allows multivoting, simple rating and multi-criteria rating in a single tool. The design minimizes the conformity effect and offers rapid, iterative voting, anonymity, quick overall tallies, and graphs of results.

Multivoting is used to narrow down a long list of candidates. In the setup dialog, you enter all the candidates, set the number of voters, and decide the number of votes that each voter will cast - usually 1/3 of the total candidates. Then, each voter casts a ballot. When all ballots are cast, you can summarize the results, sort candidates by totals, and view graphic outputs.

With rating, the process is much the same. This time, however, you can use one or more criteria to rate candidates against. you can choose a rating scale anywhere from 1-3 to 1-10. You can weight the criteria, too, if you like. With rating, the final results are summarized in a grid. You can click on cells to see graphs of voting patterns. The consensus threshold can be used to highlight the areas where there is the most disagreement - a signal that more discussion of that issue may be needed.

Discussion is at least as important as the actual voting. Discussion points about each candidate are recorded before and during the election, giving you a ready reference, and a PathMaker's consensus builder tool is to help teams discover "shared thought" through means to prevent circular arguments.