This is one of my all-time favorite techniques to quickly arrive at consensus for Agile Teams. I use Roman Voting ALL the time because is fast, it is easy and it is fun. I have even had people tell me that the Roman Voting technique was the most memorable and useful thing they have learned from my classes. I would often explain that this technique was how the fate of gladiators was decided in Ancient Rome which apparently is NOT true!
For me, Roman Voting is a simple up or down vote made with thumbs. However, a lot of other thoughtful Agile practitioners (here and here and here) allow participants to vote with their thumbs sideways. I am not saying these people are wrong, I am saying that I do not include this variation since it confuses this technique with the Decider\Resolution protocol.
Here is what I call a “clean” Roman Voting technique.
- Everyone votes at the same time. Thumbs up signifies a “yes” (or agreement) while thumbs down signifies a “no” (or disagreement).
- Count the number of thumbs up and thumbs down. Depending on the decision-making rule (consensus or majority rules), the proposal either passes or fails.