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Fist of Five

The Fist of Five is a technique for quickly evaluating how people feel about a particular topic. Two common uses for it are:

  1. Assessing comfort level with a decision or design
  2. Assessing how effective people felt a meeting was

In in-person discussions, this is simply done by everyone raising their hand with between zero and five fingers out. No fingers out is the equivalent of a “veto” vote. A decision must not move forward if someone vetos. By comparison, having all five fingers out means that you have complete confidence in the approach and would like to take the lead on it.

For assessing effectiveness, the scale can be thought of as a five-star rating system, with zero stars meaning that it was a complete waste of time, and five stars meaning it was incredibly useful and effective.

This voting technique is common in Agile development.


What is fist to five?, TechTarget