A Project Management Process with Brainstorming

GOAL: 5 Tips for Productive Brainstorming

Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand. ~ Chinese Proverb

One of the most challenging, yet fun, parts of project management is starting the process itself—with team members to define their tasks and assigning responsibilities to those with relevant skills.

This comes after you’ve identified the PMO (project management office). In a previous blog, I wrote about setting the stage with the PMO. This is where you organize your passel of team members and gather tools such as location and equipment to begin production.

The Cycle of Decision-Making

With your PMO in place, the next step involves the cycle of decision-making; this sets the tone, pace and eventual results of your project.

There are three steps to group decision-making:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Research
  3. Resolution

5 Tips for Productive Brainstorming

  1. Let ideas roll and pop—but do not compliment or downgrade comments. Why? Because no judgment enters at this stage, even as no idea is a bad idea. Preface every session with this statement. And, take notes.
  2.  Encourage wild and outrageous ideas to spark and foment more ideas.
  3. Quantity counts (not quality), at this stage. The more ideas emerge, the more likely good ideas are to be found.
  4. Build on ideas. Encourage fast ideas and keep expanding on them to widen your repertoire. Adapt and improve on ideas.
  5. Encourage everyone to participate—including you, as you keep up taking down notes.

Emphasize that each idea produced belongs to the group, not to the person who said it. This way, group ownership by team members makes it easy for everyone to buy into the ideas generated.

Good ideas produce strategic outcomes. Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist, cautioned, “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”
BIO: A corporate executive and entrepreneur, Angela Brister is the author of When Life Hands You A Project, Manage It! Visit http://www.angelabrister.com/ for more online project management ideas. You’re welcome to quote from this article and credit the source to Angela Brister at: http://angelabrister.blogspot.com/.