Intro to decisions

Decisions are where you can progress a discussion to an outcome.

  • Involve the right people to make better decisions
  • Apply the decision making process that works for your group - seek advice or consent, or reach a consensus
  • Get engagement, test ideas, and clarify an issue, even if the solution might not yet be apparent
  • Set a deadline, prompt people who haven’t participated, and state an outcome

There are many types of decision tools in Loomio and many ways to use them.

This doesn’t mean that everyone must agree all of the time, and there are many ways to reach a collective decision.

Proposal

At the heart of Loomio is the proposal.

A proposal helps convert a discussion into a clear, practical outcome. For example someone suggests a course of action and invites people to respond by voting agree, abstain or disagree. Other proposal options are available to suit common decision-making processes.

As people vote, they can give a reason why they have voted this way. You can all see where everyone else stands on the matter, and why. And then, if the proposal is still open, you can change your response.

In this way you can use proposals to prompt people for a response, uncover new information, and build shared understanding - to help your group make a better, more informed decision.

A proposal and associated discussion, creates its own record of how the decision came about.

Polls

Loomio includes a range of polling tools you can use to support participation and decision making.

Poll: A simple poll to ask people which option or options they approve.

Check: An even simpler poll with just Yes/No options. Used as an RSVP or letting everyone know you have completed something.

Time poll: Like Doodle without all the ads… Find the best time to meet, or to schedule an event.

Score poll: Ask people to express the strength of their preference for each option, on a numerical scale.

Dot vote: Ask people to express the strength of their preferences, with a budget constraint. You get a number of ‘dots’ to allocate, and can put all your dots on one option or spread them out.

Ranked choice: Rank a list of options where the highest ranked option wins. Useful for elections when there are many candidates and few seats.

All decision tools have the same structure

When setting up a proposal or one of the poll types you will find the structure the same:

Set up:

  • Give the proposal or poll a title
  • Assign a category tag
  • Describe the proposal or poll question, and how you want people to vote
  • Set a closing deadline and reminder
  • Invite people

Running:

  • People vote and add a reason (optional)
  • Results are updated live
  • People can change their vote if new info emerges
  • A reminder is sent to people who haven’t voted

Outcome:

  • The proposal or poll closes, and everyone can see the results
  • The author sets an outcome, notifying everyone of what will happen next.