Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    The benefits of convening a group of knowledgeable specialists together in a workshop setting to tackle a difficult problem can often be offset by an over-abundance of unfocused and rambling discussion and by counterproductive group dynamics. In light of this workshop paradox, we have created a generic workshop framework based on the analytic hierarchy process, that efficiently elicits both workshop content and products. The 2 key components of this workshop structure are: (1) a straw document that is both generic and hierarchical and (2) pair-wise comparisons of elements at each level of the hierarchy. Top-down levels of the generic hierarchy include: primary topics, key questions, and responses to key questions. We applied this workshop structure to elicit and prioritize research needs for large-scale fire disturbances from a large (25 attendees) group of scientist and managers. Advantages of this approach are: (1) it allows for conceptual workshop facilitation and eliminates most traditional facilitation chores, which aim to mitigate undesirable group dynamics, (2) it does not hinder or burden technical discussions, but rather focuses and enhances them, (3) it allows workshop organizers to efficiently collect and structure ideas generated in technical discussions, and (4) it enables statistical comparisons between competing ideas.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Peterson, David L. 1997. Using the AHP in a Workshop Setting to Elicit and Prioritize Fire Research Needs. Proceedings, 1997 ACSM/ASPRS Annual Convention and Exposition. 4: 151-162.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page