What a Brainstorm is and how it is useful

Brainstorm method
Ted Scott
Ted Scott
8 February 2024
7 min

The solution of some issues requires collective discussion. Only in this format is it possible to come up with unconventional, creative and truly imaginative ideas. One convenient tool for finding “fresh solutions” is brainstorming or brainstorming. With this technique, you can look at a situation from a different angle. Its main goal is to gather as many opinions and ideas as possible on the issue at hand, so that you can then put them into practice.

What it is

What it is brainstorming

Brainstorm is a creative idea generation technique used in work groups or teams to solve specific problems in an informal setting. The term was coined by Alex Osborne, co-owner of the advertising agency BBDO. He believed that in order to find the right solution to a problem, it was important to separate creative processes aimed at creating new solutions from criticism. This technology was then used by other advertising agencies and marketing departments to create slogans, advertising campaigns, and new product packaging.

In a brainstorming session, it is important to give freedom to creative energy, not to be afraid to voice the most fantastic assumptions. All participants in the discussion should have the same freedom of expression regardless of their position or position in the company. Brainstorming helps to break out of the routine that comes from working in a monotonous format. But in order to get the appropriate effect from this method, it is necessary to prepare for the discussion thoroughly and follow the rules of the discussion.

Why brainstorm

Brainstorm help situations:

  • When you’re in a stupor and can’t see a solution to a problem;
  • When you need to come up with something new and original quickly;
  • When you need to give your brain a jolt.

That is, this method works best when all employees have different ideas about the same task, but no one knows how to do it correctly. Here is the simplest example from life: you and your company are going to a friend’s birthday party and are deciding what to get him. You have a brainstorming session where you share your opinions on the gift. Some of you may come up with the same ideas, but among them there will definitely be an original and not banal variant.

Apart from the marketing sphere brainstorming is practiced in Agile teams and has the same goals as any other. Only the team consists of programmers-developers.

How a brainstorm is conducted

Brainstorming ideas is conducted in several stages. First, it is necessary to decide on the issue to be solved. Then determine the number and composition of the team members. Optimally, if there will be no more than 10 people in it. So it will be easier to manage the process, and the meeting will not turn into an endless hum. All participants should have approximately the same positions, social statuses, so that it would be easier for them to communicate and understand each other. Preferably, they should have different levels of Soft and Hard Skills, in different areas. This gives better results in generating non-standard and creative ideas.

Having decided on the number and composition of the team, you need to choose a venue for the event. It can be the territory of the office or a neutral place outside it, where you can go with your colleagues. Staying in an informal environment will be an excellent stimulus for turning on the creative imagination of the company’s employees and will help them to abstract themselves from the work process. New environment – new ideas. The main thing is not to overdo it with relaxation, otherwise the task will remain unsolved. Brainstorming sessions can also be organized in an online format, using modern technical means.

Next steps:

  • Employees are warned about the meeting in advance, 2-3 days in advance, setting specific goals for them: for example, to come up with 200 ideas in an hour.
  • Select a brainstorming moderator who will make sure that the participants of the brainstorming session follow the rules and regulations of the brainstorming session.
  • Assign performers to other roles: the generator of ideas (creator); the analyst; the person responsible for summarizing and summarizing the results of the event; the implementer who understands best and has a certain set of hard skills for mitap brainstorming; the skeptic who criticizes all statements; the “simpleton” who needs to explain everything additionally.

All participants of the brainstorm should understand the essence of the task under discussion. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the clearest possible wording for it. Wrong: “Why do we have so few leads for this product?”. Correct: “How can we increase the number of leads in this area?”.

After the topic of the meeting is announced, there is a short warm-up. This helps to establish communication and loosen up. This is followed by a process of idea generation, during which all participants share their thoughts. It is important that everyone can offer as many different solutions as possible. All of them are listened to carefully, without expressing any doubts or criticism. The ideas expressed during the brainstorm are recorded in writing by the moderator for later study and analysis. If at any point the discussion reaches an impasse, the moderator, with the help of leading questions, changes the direction of the conversation, bringing the discussants back to the original topic.

In order to select the best ideas from the proposed options, they are divided into groups. The final selection is made collegially or with the involvement of invited experts.

Brainstorming rules

To prevent the brainstorming session from turning into useless chatter, it is important to follow the following rules:

  1. Prepare for it in advance, taking care of the availability of appropriate materials and visualization tools, for example, prepare a video or a simple presentation on the issue under discussion.
  2. All ideas must be recorded in writing. A responsible secretary is chosen for this purpose.
  3. Criticism of the speaker is not allowed unless it is in accordance with the assigned role. Participants should be polite to each other and show empathy to others.
  4. To get the best result, it is advisable to assemble a cross-platform team, with different knowledge and skills.
  5. A brain storm mitup should end on a positive note. For example, a great way to end it would be a joint dinner where colleagues can socialize in an informal setting and get motivated to continue participating in similar events.
  6. To analyze errors, it is important to organize feedback from the participants of the discussion. For this purpose, you can create a short questionnaire in Google docs or corporate messenger that employees can fill out anonymously.

It is very important to write down the conclusions and all thoughts so that you can come back to them again.

Besides the classic scenario proposed by Alex Osborne, there are many other methods of organizing and conducting a brainstorm, such as:

“Six Hats”

six hats method

The 6 hats are six roles distributed by color:

  • The owner of the black hat criticizes, looking for minuses in the statements of the participants;
  • The blue hat is conventionally “worn” by the moderator;
  • White is associated with analytical thinking, its possessor concentrates on finding more information;
  • The red one is given to a person with a well-developed intuition, able to appreciate the aesthetic side of the issue;
  • Yellow color – the opposite of black, its bearer defends the expressed ideas, finds positive aspects in them;
  • The participant holding the green hat is responsible for creativity, coming up with the most original and out-of-the-box ideas.

The Stepladder technique

It consists of five stages:

  1. Participants are told the topic of the discussion, allowing some amount of time for them to come up with a solution to the problem.
  2. They create a group of two participants. They discuss the problem together.
  3. Then another staff member joins them. He tells his ideas to the other two participants before, then they discuss them together again.
  4. Next, another person is added to the process and so on.
  5. After all team members have expressed their opinions on the problem and discussed them with each other, a final decision is made.

Round-Robin methodology

It is conducted at a large round table. A presenter is appointed to voice the problem. All participants write down solutions on sheets of paper and pass them around the circle to their colleagues. Each next person has to complete the proposed variant and write it down as well. The rounds are repeated until the sheets are returned to the original authors. All ideas are then discussed further.

Organizing a brainstorming session with LeaderTask

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When conducting a brainstorming session, it is important to keep time and record all the ideas of the participants. It is best that the notes are visual and accessible to all speakers. In an office, you can use an ordinary whiteboard for this purpose. If the discussion is planned in online mode, with the involvement of remote specialists, you can organize a brainstorming session in the unified digital space of the LeaderTask service. This is a convenient tool for planning, time management, creating and maintaining projects and task lists with control over their execution.

In LeaderTask you can record all participants’ ideas, categorize them into groups, and use a convenient filter system to quickly search for information. Organize a survey for brainstorm participants in an open or closed format, provide or restrict access to any information on the project. Save important data for later study and analysis. Work with them from anywhere, including without internet. The application works on all digital platforms, has a high-quality mobile version. It is suitable for personal and team use.


If you organize your brainstorm properly, you will achieve amazing results. For this purpose, it is important to choose the right participants. There should be an active moderator in the team, who can “shake up” the team, as well as employees with creative thinking, friendly towards each other. The main thing is to follow the rules of the discussion, not to turn it into an empty chit-chat.

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