A.5.1.3 Pattern: Rater

Context:
A group of people is attempting to accomplish some task as effectively and efficiently as possible. The nature of the task is such that it is not immediately obvious who should do what or how the task should be structured. In order to increase efficiency and effectiveness, specific roles are being assigned to specific people or subteams. In some cases, a fairly quick method of organizing information is to have one or more people serve as raters. They may rate individuals, proposals, ideas, methods, approaches, alternative deals, etc.

Problem:
How can people organize their work in an effective and efficient manner? In particular, how can a small group of people be sure they explore the entire relevant range of possibilities yet stay focused enough to reach closure.

Forces:
Different people have different backgrounds, experiences and skills. Therefore, they have different beliefs about the best approach to the task at hand.
Discussion and debate about the details of how the group should work may not converge or may take a large proportion of the time and resources allocated to the task itself.
Some individuals in the group may have more expertise, experience, and skill at taking particular stances toward the subject matter.
Open discussion potentially reveals a wealth of detail.
Open discussion is potentially a very lengthy process.
Rating by experts is a quick way of prioritizing.
Often there are more possible paths to pursue than can be pursued in the given time, space or financial constraints.

Solution:
One or more persons serve as an expert rater in order to prioritize.

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