refers to the process of systematic and liberal generation of a large
volume of ideas from a number of participants by encouraging each of
them to volunteer their creative inputs one at a time in an atmosphere
that is free of criticism and judgment from other participants.
Unlike unstructured brainstorming wherein the participants can give
ideas as these come to mind, structured brainstorming provides certain
that participants must follow in order to make the gathering of inputs
more orderly and evenly distributed.
is good for: 1)
from all team members about a certain topic, issue, or problem in an
organized manner; 2) encouraging team members to be more creative and be
open to new or non-traditional ideas; 3) preventing dominant team
members from controlling the output of the team's idea gathering
efforts; 4) promoting synergy among team members by letting them build
on each other's creative thinking; and 5) keeping the process of getting
inputs from team members focused on the team's mission.
'structured' brainstorming process is ideal for use by teams that are
new to brainstorming sessions, since unstructured brainstorming may be
difficult to handle under certain situations. Structured
brainstorming basically consists of the following steps.
central brainstorming theme
in question form and write it down where every participant can see it,
e.g., on a white board or flipchart. Ensure that all the members
have a full understanding the question, since they can not provide
answers to it if they don't. Try to optimize the manner in which
the question is written by having a couple of members paraphrase it with
the objective of improving it.
Let each team
have a turn to
give his or
as answer to the question. Start with any team member and proceed
to the next in seating arrangement, either in clockwise or
counterclockwise direction. If a team member can't think of
any input when his or her turn comes, he or she simply needs to say
'Pass,' and the next member gets the turn.
3) Write each
input in large bold letters on the board or flipchart as it is given.
During these brainstorming rounds,
allowed to criticize an input,
no matter what. The scribe simply writes down the input on the
board or flipchart using
the same words used by the input giver. This encourages the
members to open up and keeps the input gathering in continuous fluid
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brainstorming rounds until everybody says 'Pass' in the same round.
This indicates that the ideas of the team have already been
5) The last
step is where the team members are required to 'sanitize' the inputs.
of the listed inputs
for further improvement in the way it is written and maximize its
clarity. Now is the time that other team members can ask the
input giver what he or she actually means by his or her input.
all inputs that are
of another input. Similar but different ideas must be preserved on
the list though.
Tree Diagram; The Pareto Chart;
Nominal Group Technique
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