Brainstorming

Posted on August 31, 2009 by

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This general technique used throughout different fields as well as in everyday life. It is a way to creatively generate ideas such as solutions or risks. It is listed as a Group Creativity Technique under the fourth edition PMBOK®’s Collect Requirements process, as Alternatives Identification for the Define Scope process, as an Additional Quality Planning Tool under the Plan Quality process, and as an Information Gathering Technique for the Identify Risks process. The BABOK® 2.0 lists Brainstorming as a technique which can be used throughout many processes.

 Brainstorming is usually performed in a group. It is important that the group is composed of individuals who understand the topic and can think creatively. The topic should be clear and a facilitator should be selected that can maintain focus on that topic. Typically a time-limit is set for the session. The ideas that people share should not be criticized, as that will make people reluctant to share additional ideas as well as divert time to discussing ideas that should be used to generate ideas. In fact, people should be encouraged to share ideas even if they are not sure that they are good ideas. The goal at this point is to obtain as many ideas as possible. Once enough ideas are generated, then they can be discussed and rated. Preferably there are some pre-defined criteria for rating the ideas that were shared with the group as the session began. The best idea(s) will then be further explored.