Consensus Tools that Help Teams Get to Agreement and Find Solutions

by Jason Gardner (Ed.)

As an Agilist, you know how important it is for teams to work collaboratively and find solutions together. However, when differences arise, it can be a challenge to find a way to move forward. The good news is that there are a variety of consensus tools available to help teams facilitate discussions and come to a resolution. In this blog post, we will give an overview of different consensus tools and in what situations they are the most effective.

For Choosing What to Do or Talk About

Dot Voting

Dot voting is a great way for teams to easily identify areas of agreement or disagreement. To use this method, everyone in the group is given a certain number of dots (usually a specific color) and then asked to place the dots next to the items they support. People can place all of their dots on one item, or spread them out across multiple items. This could be as simple as a list of ideas or proposals. The dots can quickly reveal which ideas have more support than others and can help the team identify potential solutions.

Roman Voting

Roman Vote is a consensus tool that encourages participants to reach an agreement by allowing them to vote on possible solutions. It works best with small groups of people, as each person has three votes: one for their favorite option, one against their least favorite option and one for something in between. The number of options should be kept relatively low so that the votes can be tallied easily. This method is most effective when the group has already discussed the pros and cons of each option, as it helps them to think critically about their choices. Roman Vote can be a useful tool for teams looking to make decisions quickly and efficiently.

For Positive Conversation

Resistance points 

Resistance points is another popular consensus tool for teams. This method encourages team members to articulate the reasons why they disagree with certain ideas or proposals. Everyone in the group takes a turn speaking and everyone else contributes feedback on each point of contention. By doing this, teams can better understand opposing views and come up with creative solutions to move forward. Resistance points help teams come to an agreement by creating a safe space for honest discussion and understanding. Additionally, this tool can help create more empathy between team members and foster stronger relationships.

Silent Collaboration 

Silent collaboration is a consensus tool that requires team members to work together without speaking. This method can be particularly useful for teams who may not be comfortable discussing their ideas aloud or in a group setting. To use this tool, teams are given an assignment or problem to solve and asked to come up with solutions using only writing, drawing, or other non-verbal means. This allows all members of the team to express their ideas without feeling pressure or anxiety. Silent collaboration is an effective way for teams to come up with creative solutions and find consensus in a low-pressure environment. Additionally, it can help foster better communication and understanding amongst team members.

Consensus Clock

The Consensus Clock is a helpful tool for teams in conflict. This tool involves breaking out the discussion into timed intervals, with each person having a certain amount of time to speak uninterrupted. This can help ensure that everyone has a chance to share their ideas and that discussions don’t get bogged down by a few dominant voices. The time constraints can also encourage people to focus on their most important points and prevent tangential discussions.

Dialogue Mapping

Dialogue Mapping is a consensus tool that is particularly useful when dealing with complex problems or issues. The process involves creating a visual representation of the discussion using a mind map. Participants are encouraged to engage in structured dialogue and to build upon each other’s ideas as they go. By the end of the session, the mind map should reflect the group’s collective understanding of the issue at hand.

For Evaluating Consensus

Fist of Five

The Fist of Five method is a quick and easy way to gauge agreement on a specific topic. To use this method, everyone in the group puts their fist in the center of the table and on the count of three, each person will show their fingers indicating their level of agreement. A fist represents a complete lack of agreement, while five fingers indicate total agreement. This approach can be particularly useful when you need to make a quick decision and want to see where everyone stands on the topic.

Fist of Five Plus

The Fist of Five Plus method is a more nuanced version of the Fist of Five method. This approach involves the same concept of showing how much agreement there is on a topic, but also requires individuals to explain the reasons for their level of agreement. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page. It can also help identify areas of disagreement or concerns that need to be addressed before the team can move forward.


As you can see, there are a variety of consensus tools available to help teams navigate differing opinions and find solutions. Each tool has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and the best one for your team will depend on the situation at hand. By using these tools, teams can promote effective communication, better decision-making, and build trust among team members. We hope that this blog post serves as a helpful resource for your team and that you’re able to put these consensus tools into practice.


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