Brainstorming is somehow old fashioned and everybody knowing Creativity and Problem Solving understand its limits . However it is still in use in lots of companies.
If Brainstorming is still alive in your company, here is a survival plan to insure good results and efficient actions!
- Organize the ideas
Clustering is the most efficient technique to avoid having lots of ideas, uncategorized, lost in the middle of their peers… Clustering ideas, identifying the patterns and the themes will definitely help to focus on emergent concept. Keep all ideas on the board, even those which have slight differences.
- Use the weighted vote technique
Once you have clustered your ideas, it is important to narrow down to the best of them. The best technique we use at INNOWEO when we are facing Brainstorming sessions results is the weighted vote. Give your participants a given number of stickers (usually 3) and ask them to vote for their 3 favourite ideas. Additional rules can be defined (only one sticker per idea or 2 maximum per idea or whatever rule which you think is suited to the vote – hint: keep it simple)
- Prioritize the best ideas
Once participants have selected the best ideas, it is time for the sponsor, the facilitator and some selected key stakeholders to prioritize the ideas which have the best future. Take each point of view into account but at the end, (hint: let the sponsor/ main stakeholder decide about the prioritization at the end, don’t try to reach a consensus).
- Organize next steps
It is really important, for the project, for the brainstorming, for the participants that something goes out of the brainstorming. List all tasks that have to be performed, state a deadline, name a responsible.
Follow the implementation plan with your key stakeholder.
(hint: keep trace of all actions in a shared file)
- Document your brainstorm
Documenting your brainstorm is key. Take pictures of the board, keep trace of each ideas per cluster and the results of votes and prioritization.
(hint: Use the new technologies at their most. Collaborative and task management tools are the best choice)
Are you doing other things to ensure good results ? Let us know.
Thanks for reading!