Definition: The Jury Method also called as an Executive Opinion Method is a sales forecasting method, wherein the executives from different departments come together and forecast sales for the given period, on the basis of their experience and specialization.
The jury method is based on the judgments, the top executives of Marketing, HR, Finance, Production department come together and give their opinions on sales trend. The final forecast is arrived by averaging the opinions given by all at the meeting.
This method of sales forecasting can be performed in two ways:
- Top Jury Method: In this, the participants in the discussions are limited to the top executives only. This type of method is adopted, when the problem of discussion is complex, and only the top level expertise is required to arrive at the final decision.
- Percolated Jury Method: Here, along with the top executives, several marketing, finance, production and other departments executives are included in the discussions. This method is adopted when the opinions of different people at different levels in the organization, who are experts in their respective fields, are required to arrive at the final forecast.
The sales forecast through the jury method could be reliable, only when the executives involved in the discussions are well informed about the overall economic environment and the conditions existing within the industry. They must also be well versed with all the strengths and weaknesses of their firm.
The jury method suffers from serious limitations, firstly, it is based on the opinions and not on the facts. Thus, the opinions could be biased. Secondly, the responsibility to forecast gets distributed to all. Therefore, no single person could be held accountable in case the forecast turns out to be false. Thirdly, a general forecast can be made through this method, which could not be readily broken down into month-wise, product-wise, department-wise data. Hence, a separate team is required to prepare such forecasts.