Real-time Delphi in practice - a comparative analysis of existing software-based tools
The success of Real-Time Delphi studies largely depends on the capabilities of the chosen software-based tool. First, there are currently a number of different tools at the community's disposal. Second, these tools vary widely in terms of their respective capabilities. Consensus as to what qualifies such tools for their academic purpose has not yet been established, even though Real-Time Delphi studies have become increasingly popular in recent years. The social science literature has hitherto offered relatively few analyses about the applicability of Real-Time Delphi software. This paper seeks to address this research gap by developing a methodology to compare and categorize tools that are available on the market, thus making a first step towards the establishment of academic standards for Real-Time Delphi studies. The basis of this paper is the testing of four selected Real-Time Delphi tools and their application. Through reviewing the existing literature the authors developed a system of categories and sub-categories according to which the tools were assessed and compared. The findings presented in this paper highlight the need for further development of the existing tools in order to iron out their short comings. Furthermore, this paper is merely considered to be the ground work for research based on more exhaustive empirical evidence in the future, and for upcoming Real-Time Delphi studies.