PMBOK Guide 4th Edition — Pet peeve in glossary

There have always been a few in-apt or questionable glossary terms included in the PMBOK Guide‘s glossary.  But in particular, the persistence of the Delphi technique puzzles me.  I mean, how many people actually use it?  Have any of you all seen this technique used recently

A lot of such techniques are around and all have their place.  And it isn’t that I have desire to see Delphi stamped out.  It just seems so out of place as something that should be codified in the PMBOK Guide

The bottom line is that Delphi just doesn’t belong; here are four reasons off the top of my head:

  1. How wide-spread is Delphi?  I’ve never seen the Delphi technique used — or even alluded to — outside of formal project management training.  It is a RAND creation, so I supposed that it is used in public sector settings.   
  2. Is “information gathering” the usual use of Delphi?  My understanding was that it was a forecasting technique, at least originally.  Sure, it can be used as described, but it seems a little odd to focus on just this one aspect of the tool.
  3. It is even good practice?  RAND’s last word on Delphi was 34 years ago (link here) and negative.  This last study called Delphi “an unreliable and scientifically invalidated technique” — even variations or improvements were not encouraged.  There is more evidence in support now, but its results are mixed at best.
  4. Why single out Delphi?  No affinity diagramming?  No Ishikawa/Fishbone?  No prediction markets?

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