- a method to generate a list of ideas. The goal is to get all participants to share ideas without filtering the ideas. Another hope is that ideas provided by some will trigger new ideas in others.
Brainstorming should be done in small groups. The topic should be written down in the form of a question. A recorder should write down ideas on a flipchart that everyone can see. The recorder should write down what is said, they should not edit the wording. Some use two recorders to speed up the process (writting down the ideas takes longer than speaking them).
A facilitator should make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak by going around the table to each person. A person may pass, if they can't think of something to share. However the idea is to get ideas from everyone even if they seem wild.
After many people are passing the facilitator may allow those with more ideas to share them.
That is really the end of the brainstorming. At this point the ideas still have to be shaped and clarified. There are various ways to do this but normally the ideas on paper will be clarified, duplicative ideas will be eliminated and at this point the merit of ideas will be accessed and those with the least merit dropped. Using an Affinity Diagram
is another popular method to sort the ideas generated in brainstorming.