Tools & Techniques
What is it?
How to do it
In structured brainstorming
In free-form (or unstructured) brainstorming
An ideal approach is to combine these two methods. Begin the session with a few rounds of structured brainstorming and finish up with a period of unstructured brainstorming.
In silent brainstorming
Silent brainstorming is best used in combination with other brainstorming techniques.
The result of a brainstorming session is a list of ideas. If this list is too long, the group can boil it down using one of the decision-making tools such as an affinity diagram.
Points to remember
Never judge ideas as they are generated. The goal of brainstorming is to generate a lot of ideas in a short time. Analysis of these ideas is a separate process, to be done later
Don't quit at the first lull. All brainstorming sessions reach lulls, which are uncomfortable for the participants. Research indicates that most of the best ideas occur during the last part of the session. Try to encourage the group to push through at least two or three lulls.
Try to write down all of the ideas exactly as they were presented. When you condense an idea to one or two words for ease of recording, you are doing analysis. Analysis should be done later.
Encourage outrageous ideas. While these ideas may not be practical, they may start a flow of creative ideas that can be used. This can help you break through a lull.
Try to have a diverse group. Involve process owners, customers, and suppliers to obtain a diverse set of ideas from several perspectives.