Tech Trends to Watch Out

How could we… You’re wasting everyone’s time if you already have a solution in mind. It is very important that a brainstorming session does not have a predetermined or preferred outcome. You’re wasting everyone’s time if you already have a solution in mind. Earlier I mentioned that you should start any session with a question, but sometimes you may not know what the right question is. If this is the case, you should start with a “How could we…” exercise, in which you ask people to come up with the questions that will determine the focus of the actual brainstorming session. Again, a limit of three minutes will suffice and the facilitator’s role remains the same (collecting and classifying these thoughts).

Some examples of “How could we…” questions include: How can we find out what our end user really wants? How could we measure the success of what we are trying to accomplish? How could we find a new way to reach our goal? Using this Haiti B2B List technique, the facilitator can ask everyone to vote on which of the questions they think are the most essential to answer during the brainstorming session. People can express their votes by placing their colored stickers on the post-its of their choice. For each of the top-ranked questions, do an additional brainstorming sprint to get to the WHAT: what are the crazy, original ideas to answer that particular “how could we” question?

Tools and Resources

As always, keep an eye on the clock at all times. Finally brainstorm It’s time to start thinking about taking action. After all your questions and ideas are on the wall, and everyone has cast their votes via stickers, it’s time to start thinking about taking action. It’s helpful to keep in mind that before you jump into this part of the brainstorming, you’ll probably want to give the group a comforting break: time to eat lunch, stretch, or grab a snack. Once everyone is up to date and ready, the group should decide together which of the sticky notes fall outside the scope of the current group (ie, is this a question for HR rather than UX?). The facilitator should try to paraphrase and synthesize as many points as possible to make sure everyone is following them.


If any notes are difficult to read or understand, don’t be afraid to ask people to clarify their points. When the highest priority ideas have been voted on, it is time to decide how to act. Here are two questions for the group to determine before leaving the room: What is our deadline? This will vary greatly depending on the scope of the project. It can vary from “next week” to “end of the year”. Make sure you choose an ambitious, yet achievable, time frame. Who will own this? It could be that the Project Manager takes charge of each of these line items, but cross-team collaboration means there could be multiple stakeholders for each item. Determine who will be the “champion” of each specific sticky note to hold someone accountable.

How Crowdfunding Is Changing

Go ahead brainstorming process – monitoring As important as an effective brainstorming process is for extracting unique ideas, the really important part comes from the follow-through: making sure those great ideas you worked so hard on actually get implemented. Designate a cadence to control each of your action item champions; this is not the role of the facilitator, but of the Project Manager who is working more closely on the project. However, as a facilitator, one final duty remains. Send out a survey after brainstorming to collect feedback on the session. What did people like? What didn’t people like? What could have been improved? Be open to these ideas as they will help shape and improve your future brainstorming process.

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