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Brainwriting: The Team Hack To Generating Better Ideas


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If you work in an office, your boss has probably forced you into a brainstorming session or two (or 12). Invented in the 1940s by an advertising executive, the purpose was to solicit a large amount of ideas in a short period of time. By putting a collective of creative people in the same room, better concepts should come. Sounds very agile.

However, science has shown several times that brainstorming is a terrible technique. It’s cumbersome due to all of the interdependent activities happening at once. When spending time generating ideas as a group, you often spend more time thinking of others ideas than your own.

Fortunately, a relatively unknown technique is starting to gain popularity called brainwriting. Incorporating it into your team events can produce more diverse ideas and provide a friendlier environment for collaboration. In this session, we will workshop them and leave the audience with all of the tools to bring the technique back to their offices.

Published in: Business
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Brainwriting: The Team Hack To Generating Better Ideas

  1. 1. BRAINWRITING The team hack to generate better ideas @chrismurman
  2. 2. WHO AM I? Quality Analyst Product Manager Copywriter Author Blogger BA Tester Graphic Designer Sales Agile Champion Scrum Master Product Owner Coach PM Lead Maker Twitter Addict Father Sports Anchor Change Agent CSMCSPO CSP Batman Mobile Evangelist Texan Button Pusher
  3. 3. 3 IDEAS!
  4. 4. Organizations and companies are constantly engaged in processes designed to develop new methods, processes, and products aimed at building and sustaining their competitive edge. Often the ideas that are the basis for innovations are developed in group settings, such as team meetings. 4
  5. 5. 5 Articulate the difference between Brainstorming and Brainwriting Teach others about the social components of idea generation Facilitate brainwriting sessions with your own teams Have fun with your table-mates along the way! LEARNINGOBJECTIVES
  6. 6. 6 Introduce yourself to the rest of the table. Spend 5 minutes discussing what you know about brainstorming.
  7. 7. ALEXF.OSBORN “We should hold back criticism until the creative current has had the chance to flow.” “Become more conscious of the creative power within your reach.” “As a term, imagination covers a field so wide and so hazy that a leading educator has called it an area which psychologists fear to tread.” “Each of us does have an Aladdin’s lamp, and if we rub it hard enough, it can light our way to better living.” 7
  8. 8. Published Applied Imagination in 1953 Introduced a technique he called “brainstorming” Go For Quantity Withhold Criticism Welcome Wild Ideas Combine and Improve Ideas 8
  10. 10. WHATARESOME CHALLENGESTOUSINGTHIS TECHNIQUE? 10 slides 6-9 will be 15 minutes
  11. 11. Only one person can talk at a time HIPPOs Waiting to speak means forgetting Introverts lose out Politics more important than ideas BRAINSTORMINGCHALLENGES 11
  12. 12. How many times have we said, “This is just the way we’ve always done things”? 12
  13. 13. Brainwriting is an idea-generating technique mean to focus the group more on the output rather than the social components of the activity. 13
  14. 14. 6-3-5BRAINWRITING Published 1968 by Bernd Rohrbach in Germany 6 Participants Write Down 3 Ideas In 5 minutes 6 Rounds = 108 ideas in 30 minutes 14
  15. 15. Electronic Brainstorming (EBS) - Introduced in the 1980s, with the hope of using computer-mediated electronic communication to improve creativity. Asynchronous Brainstorming in an Industrial Setting: Exploratory Studies published by Tel Aviv University and UT-Arlington in 2015 ITERATIONSON6-3-5 15
  16. 16. If the #1 problem to Agile adoption is education what are some ways to educate people? - 3 minutes Pass the paper to the right - 3 times Goal is to identify as many ways as possible. Who can generate the most ideas? 16 LET’SDOITNOW
  17. 17. HOWWASTHATDIFFERENT? 17 slides 10-16 total 27 minutes
  18. 18. Write down 5 barriers to Agile adoption. As soon as you hit 5, pass the paper to your right. Keep going until you can’t think of anything else. Identify the table’s top three barriers, without talking. 10 minutes total. 18 LET’STRYITAGAIN
  21. 21. 21 Retrospectives - Surveys or Stickies Stand Ups - Slack Release/PI Planning - Stickies and Dot Voting Demos/Showcases - Feedback Sheets BRAINWRITINGINAGILE TEAMS
  22. 22. 22 The more ideas the better. Verbal communication comes second. Social aspects of team are still important. This will feel weird at first. Measure your growth. THINGSTOREMEMBER 22 slides 17-22 will be 30 minutes
  23. 23. THANKYOU! @chrismurman