Brainstorming process is by far the most widely used tool to stimulate creative thinking. It was developed in the 1940s by the American advertising executive Alex Osborn who believed that anyone could learn to generate creative solutions for a wide variety of problems.The word brainstorming process has come into general usage in the language to denote any kind of idea generation.
Brainstorming process is a carefully orchestrated process. It makes use of the broad experience and knowledge of groups of individuals. The brainstorming process is structured to overcome many of the mental blocks that curb individual creativity in team members who are left to generate ideas on their own.
Active participation of different individuals in the idea generation process overcomes most perceptual, intellectual, and cultural mental blocks. It is likely that one person’s mental block will be different from another’s, so that by acting together, the team’s combined idea generation process flows well.
Brainstorming process is a group method of idea genaration in which stress is laid on the quantity of ideas generated. Members are asked to generate a large number of ideas while criticism is kept under check. Participants are encouraged to build upon the ideas of others, but not knock out them down.
Perhaps the most important benefit of “Brainstorming” in complex problems is the identification of the categories of solution concepts.
Brainstorming is a technique for problem-solving, team-building and creative process. Brainstorming is a great technique for generating creative ideas. Generally performed in groups, it’s a fun way to get lots of fresh ideas out on the table and get everyone thinking and pulling together.
To start out, keep the group on the small side( 4 – 8 ). The participants should be relatively at ease with one another, and as you continue to brainstorm together over time, they’ll become more comfortable throwing out off-the-wall ideas–which often generate the best results.
Begin by choosing a facilitator to record the ideas on large, poster-size sheets of paper that can be stuck to a bulletin board or along the walls of the room. In this process it has six key question.
Six Key Questions
Journalism students are taught to ask six simple questions to ensure that they have covered the entire story. These same questions can be used to help you approach the problem from different angles.
Who? Who uses it, wants it, will benefi t by it?
What? What happens if X occurs? What resulted in success? What resulted in failure?
When? Can it be speeded up or slowed down? Is sooner better than later?
Where? Where will X occur? Where else is possible?
Why? Why is this done? Why is that particular rule, action, solution, problem, failure involved?
How? How could it be done, should it be done, prevented, improved, changed, made?
The Five Whys technique is used to get to the root of a problem. It is based on the premise that it is not enough to just ask why one time. For example:
Why has the machine stopped? A fuse blew because of fan overload.
Why was there an overload? There was inadequate lubrication for the bearings.
Why wasn’t there enough lubrication? The lube pump wasn’t working.
Why wasn’t the pump working? The pump shaft was vibrating because it had worn due to abrasion.
Why was there abrasion? There was no fi lter on the lube pump, allowing debris into the pump.
This will keep all the ideas clearly visible. And follow these important ground rules:
Suspend criticism. All ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem, should be encouraged and recorded without comment or criticism from the group. The general goal of brainstorming is to collect as many ideas as possible, making quantity much more important than quality at this initial stage.
Postpone evaluation. Brainstorming sessions are not the time or place to evaluate the merits of the ideas suggested. So don’t suspend the process to evaluate the projected results of any single idea.
Build on others’ ideas. At their best, brainstorming sessions are fast-paced and fun. Participants should try to build each consecutive idea on the previous ones. This can sometimes result in surprising twists and turns.
Step wise brainstorming process
Define and agree the objective.
- Brainstorm ideas and suggestions having agreed a time limit.
- Assess/analyse effects or results.
- Prioritise options/rank list as appropriate.
- Agree action and timescale.
- Control and monitor follow-up.