Thursday, April 26, 2007

Creative Thinking: Brainstorming

Invention and thinking of new solutions to old problems is one of the key skills required for today's manager. This could be applied to Projects and People; wherever there is a problem there could be a need to be creative in the solution.

One of the key tools is Brainstorming. For this I use MindJet's MindManager Pro. A great tool and very easy to use. But there is more than the tool....

Blockers: Premature Judgment
Nothing is so harmful to inventing and idea creation as a critical sense waiting to pounce on the drawbacks of any new idea. Judgment hinders imagination.

Blockers: Searching for the single answer
If the first impediment to creative thinking is premature criticism then the second is premature closure. By looking from the outset for the single best answer, you are likely to short-circuit a wiser decision-making process in which you select from a large number of possible answers.

Brainstorming Objective: Separate the inventing from the deciding
Before brainstorming:

  • Define the purpose
  • Choose a few participants
  • Change the environment
  • Design an informal atmosphere
  • Choose a facilitator
During brainstorming:
  • Seat the participants side by side facing the problem
  • Clarify the ground rules
  • Brainstorm
  • Record the ideas in full view
After brainstorming:
  • Highlight the most promising ideas
  • Invent improvements for promising ideas - use the SCREAM technique
  • Set up a time to evaluate ideas and decide
There are some great podcasts on Brainstorming.

I recommend the two part Manager Tools series:
Part 1: 2006.07.10 - Brainstorming part 1 of 2
Part 2: 2006.07.17 - Brainstorming part 2 of 2

In addition there is also a nice summary available in the PMO Memo.
The PMO Podcast Episode 19

The PMO Podcast is presented by Mark Perry.

1 comment:

karim said...

Very good post on "Creative Thinking Brainstorming"

karim - Positive thinking