On May 5, 2015

How to perform a BRAINSTORMING session


The word “brainstorming” is very often used around the workplace, especially in a project environment.  In fact, this is one of the most popular techniques used in project management. Did you have a chance to use it? Was it effective?You can find brainstorming among tools and techniques of many PMBOK Guide processes.
Just have a look:
  • Develop project charter:  Facilitation techniques, i.a.: brainstorming
  • Develop Project Management Plan: Facilitation Techniques, i.a.: brainstorming
  • Direct and Manage Project Work: Meetings, i.a. brainstorming meetings
  • Collect Requirements: Group Creativity Techniques, i.a. brainstorming
  • Define Scope: Alternatives Generation, i.a. brainstorming
  • Estimate Activity Durations:  Group Decision-Making Techniques, i.a. brainstorming
  • Estimate Costs: Group Decision-Making Techniques, i.a. brainstorming
  • Plan Quality Management: Additional Quality Planning Tools, i.a. brainstorming
  • Identify Risks:  Information Gathering Techniques, i.a. brainstorming
How often it is used! Wouldn’t it be good to know how to PROPERLY do brainstorming? If you want to excel as project management professional, this is your MUST KNOW.

Who should participate in brainstorming session?

Well, it depends what is the purpose of the session. You should invite everybody who is likely to increase the level of creativity, is eager to share their ideas and can respect the rules of facilitated collaboration.

How to capture ideas?

Let’s say you want to elaborate possible solutions to cut costs of development. Start with asking the general question, and write down the ideas. Gather ALL ideas, do not miss anything. Do not evaluate. Even if the idea is stupid and unreasonable at the first sight, it may provoke others to develop something similar which suits the criteria. This is the purpose of brainstorming – participants should stimulate each other. At the beginning, do not try to structure the results, just focus on the proper pace of the meeting and broad-thinking.

Categorize, eliminate, evaluate ideas

When you get through the first stage of the meeting, and everybody feels like running out of the ideas, you can start to analyze.
  1. First, find similar items and group them together. In effect, the number of ideas will reduce and will be easier to further analyze.
  2. Then, go through and find things that don’t meet the criteria and for sure will not work. Throw them away from the list.
  3. Finally, evaluate. Look at the left ideas and figure out which ones are the best. If it’s difficult to find consensus, you can do it through voting.

Do not forget to report the meeting and ensure that every participant will receive a copy. You should also archive it for the future use, for example in next projects.

  • By Justyna  0 Comments   
  • meetings moderation


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