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Getting Started with Ballot

To begin:

  1. If not already done, download and install Resolver Ballot.

  2. Activate your account using the username and password emailed to you during the trial period.

  3. Open one or more of the template files to explore.

Note: Ballot saves automatically. When you open a template, it will prompt you to save the file under a new name so that it doesn't overwrite the template. It's good practice to always make a backup important files before opening them.

This tutorial follows the Risk Assessment Template in the Standard Templates section of the trial version and the file contains votes (consistent with the results of a workshop). While this tutorial outlines only the basic functionality, there are many advanced Ballot features, so feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Navigation

The top level menu has three tabs that form the basis of navigation:

  • File: Basic file operations
  • Design: Where you do your setup (pre-workshop)
  • Vote & Report: The main tab used during the workshop

Clicking between Design and Vote & Report will change both the toolbar and the main window.

Reviewing the data in Vote & Report

On the Vote & Report screen, the items (in this case, Risks) are listed vertically (rows in the table) and the Criteria (in this case, Impact and Likelihood) are the columns.

Groups can be used to aggregate data (in this case, to see the average risk against an objective).

To view the results of a particular item and criteria, double-click the cell that represents that intersection.

Understanding the Voting Screen

The screenshot below applies to both Rating Scale and Multiple Choice Criteria:

  1. The Idea Text
  2. The Criteria Question
  3. The Criteria Scales
  4. The Vote Results
  5. The Red Dot is the Average of the vote
  6. The Blue Line is the Standard Deviation

To step across to the next Criteria, you can click the arrow to the right or left. Use the vertical arrows to move to the next or previous Item.

To return to the Vote & Report, click the X in the top-right corner.

Focusing the Discussion

Ballot can help your group focus conversation on the areas that will benefit from exchange. This helps prevent time spent confirming everyone in a meeting is in agreement. Ballot has a feature that lets you show the spread, which represents the amount of agreement or consensus that was in any one vote. 

To use Spreads, click Vote & Report > Data > Agreement - Spreads.

The numbers that you see are now the spreads, not the averages. If you forget which one you're looking at, just look at the top of the screen and you'll see either Data: Spreads or Data: Averages.

With spreads, the higher the number, the less consensus there is. Look for a bigger number (e.g 1.5), then double-click it. You'll see results that represent low agreement. Now compare it to a small number.

Below is an example of low consensus (Spread value 1.6).

Below is an example of high consensus (Spread value 0.5)

The Heat Map

The most common way to look at a prioritized list is on an XY scatter plot, called the Heat Map in Risk Management. Ballot has a very powerful and flexible scatter chart tool that will enable you to see the results of your voting session across two or more criteria. Here's how to use it:

Click Vote & Report > Charts > Scatter Chart.

The heat map will take the first two criteria in your file and display them on the chart. There many display and data options that allow you to make different heat maps, show change over time, modify colors, and more. Here are the two basics:

  • To modify which criteria are in the heat map, use the menu to access Data > Chart Data.

  • To modify the way the heat map looks use the menu to access View > Format Settings.

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