Skip to main content
Planview Customer Success Center

User: How to Vote with Pairwise

Pairwise Prioritization: Duration 3 min.


Pairwise comparison voting allows you to express your preferences for different ideas through iterative idea comparisons. As an alternative to the well-known Thumbs Up voting, pairwise comparison voting presents pairs of ideas for comparative selection with each idea compared to each of the other ideas.

How it Works

On the Pairwise page, a Start button appears to initiate pairwise voting along with a message reminding users that they cannot vote on their own ideas. Also, pairwise vote comparisons are grouped in sets of 15 idea pairs. This enables users to progress through large numbers of pairwise comparisons in incremental steps.

You are asked to vote for the better of the idea pairs by either clicking Thumbs up or Stars for one of the ideas. This process selectively handpicks the ideas that best address the objective of an innovation challenge or category. You cannot vote on your own idea. Click Undo last pick to revert your last vote and display the same pair for voting. (Pairwise voting can be enabled by an Administrator in a phase or a challenge with either thumbs or stars voting.)

As you progress through comparing the different pairs of ideas, ideas and contributors are ranked to create a crowd-sourced preference for possible solutions to the challenge. Leaderboards on the pairwise page show the real time results of the voting, including top ranked ideas, top ranked voters and the pairwise activity stream.

Pairwise votes are incremented in sets of 15 pairwise comparisons. After voting on a set of 15 idea pairs, you will be prompted to continue pairwise voting on another 15 pairwise comparisons. A counter indicates your progress within the current set of pairwise idea pairs, for example 4/15 or 11/15 to indicate 4 and 11 comparisons completed in the current set of 15 idea pairs.

Click Neither to skip a pairwise idea comparison and remove that pair of ideas from your selection choices. Both ideas will remain in the pool of ideas for other comparison votes.

Basic Elements

  • A : Pairwise Timer.
  • B : Read more. Clicking on the idea title opens the Idea detail page.
  • C : Pick this Idea button. Used to show preference of one idea over the other.
  • D : Pair Counter. Displays the number of pairs completed in a set.


 For additional reading, see the attached Voting Dynamics White Paper.