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What is Structured Brainstorming? | Quickstart & Learn the Tutorial

Last updated on 24th Aug 2022, Blog, Tutorials

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What is structured brainstorming?

Whether it was for a school project, a new marketing campaign, or soon-to-be remodeled kitchen, chances are you have had more than a few brainstorming sessions in the life.Who hasn’t? Brainstorming is widely used, and for a good reason—it’s a easy and effective method for creating new ideas. While spontaneous brainstorming is useful for small-scale, informal situations, imagine using it in the business meeting.Things could go well, but they could simply go wrong.End up with dozens of unrealistic ideas to sift through, or maybe a two or three people dominated with the conversation and missed out on hearing the quiet guy in IT’s golden idea.You get the idea. It’s situations like these where are structured brainstorming comes in the handy. Just like spontaneous brainstorming, structured brainstorming is a method for creating ideas.Structured brainstorming, has formal elements that made it more focused, goal-oriented, and, in many instances, effective. But to made brainstorming more effective there is a need for adopting more structured approach by keeping some of the following points in mind:

Be aware of the limitations and restrictions of your organization – while generating ideas, the members may suggest an ideas in their excitement, only to found later that these ideas will not be allowed to be taken up because of different constraints and policies of the organization.This results a wasted effort. Hence it is more important for the members in brainstorming to be aware of their limitations.This will ensure an ideas suggested will be realistic as well.

Ask the right questions – Asking the right questions will give some direction to the team in thinking creatively but with the some structure and direction.More times the participants will think in a traditional manner which will not result in creative thinking.You need to invite the correct individuals to your brainstorming session if you want good ideas to come out of it.More weight should be given to selecting members who can contribute relevant ideas and have the necessary expertise in the areas up for debate.

Divide the team – Dividing the team in smaller sub groups of 3 to 5 people and giving every group a question to deliberate and ideate for a fixed amount of time, say 30-45 minutes and come up with the ideas.This will allow the sub groups to remain on focused.A small group will encourage the better traction among the team and people will discuss without much hesitation.It is also important to ensure that the idea crushers may be wisely removed from every group.For example a boss and a subordinate should not be there in the same sub-group.It may discourage the subordinate from suggesting ideas very openly.

Encourage quality not just quantity – It is important to focus on ensuring the quality of ideas as well, not just on quantity of ideas which may all turn out to be meaningless.

Set some ground rules for each sub group – It is important to lay down some of basic ground rules for every subgroup to follow to make the brainstorming session more fruitful.

Summarize and conclude – It is important to summarize and conclude every sub group discussion and conclude the overall brainstorming session with the summary of findings from a session.

Follow up – It is important to follow up by evaluating all the ideas generated from the brainstorming session and arrive at a conclusion as soon as possible.If the follow up on decision made from brainstorming is delayed, things will get a diluted and may be all the effort may be get lost.

Below is a step-by-step guide for conducting both phases:

Step 1: Set the objective

Structured Brainstorming

Little is more frustrating than joining a brainstorming session without the purpose.Teams used the term loosely to mean getting together to bounce ideas off one another.This is not brainstorming;But it’s usually a waste of the time.To avoid this, be crystal clear about what seek to achieved by formulating a prompt for the session.

For example:

  • Building a mobile app to connect the people through their love of reading.
  • User research had proven that people enjoy the social reading .
  • Also learned book club admins and managers of social reading groups are the key finding factor for robust engagement and growth within these social reading groups.
  • Accordingly, decided to focus on this user segment for the MVP and have identified admins’ main pain point.
  • Which is that they are unable to effectively engage their groups in a virtual Covid-19 world.
  • This reinforces additional analysis are done and fairly certain the root cause of the overarching issue want to solve is that they do not have adequate tools for the hosting social reading events and engaging their group members.
  • While done a competitive analysis and read the research team’s analyses, haven’t figured out what are going to build.

Step 2: Gather materials and team

Schedule for an hour-long meeting.Ideally, reserve a room with a whiteboard and adequate a room for the team.Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely that are working remotely.Luckily, Structured Brainstorming can effectively can be conducted remotely.If team is remote, a virtual whiteboard that allows users to made virtual sticky notes.Can use this in lieu of the physical sticky notes. Materials:

  • One stack of sticky notes for every person
  • A timekeeping device
  • One writing device for every person
  • Team

The quality of the outputs will be proportional to the diversity of a brainstorming group.

Step 3: Divergent thinking

  • It’s showtime, arranged a team and disseminated the brainstorming materials.
  • Kick off the meeting by a reiterating its purpose.
  • Then, write the prompt on a whiteboard .
  • Set the timer for 15 minutes and tell a team to write as more answers to the prompt as possible.
  • Using a one sticky note for every response.
  • Tell everyone to write a first thing that comes to their mind and to not worry about their ideas being polished.
  • Have every person place their sticky notes on the whiteboard, as they finish them.
  • Ideally, want raw, original, out-of-the-box ideas.
  • The best way to do this is to protect an ideas for during ideation.
  • In order to made a safe space for idea generation.
  • Team members should remain silent during this phase to avoid groupthink and undue influence on the ideas of others.
  • Also, a stickies should NOT include the name of their author.

Step 4: Convergent thinking

  • Now that have captured individual responses on the whiteboard to select at least one (but not more than three) .
  • Team members to bucket every note into the matic categories.
  • Have them made a new label with a few words or a phrase for every category.
  • This should take between a 10 and 15 minutes.
  • May a find that some notes fit into more than one bucket.
  • That’s OK. Just duplicate the note and place one in every bucket.
  • May also find that some responses are completely irrelevant and do not fit into a any bucket.
  • so can discard these.

Step 5: What’s next?

  • The purpose of the brainstorm will find what will do with an outputs.
  • For example, if led a brainstorm to identify issues worth solving.
  • May use the outputs to conduct a root cause analysis or to inform another round of brainstorming focused on solutions to those issues (as was the case in the example above).
  • Speaking of the example above, might use the themes an identified to guide a team’s roadmap.
  • Of course, unlikely to have the bandwidth to tackle all of the problems or themes an identified.
  • So will want to prioritize the most important themes .
  • Those can ship with the least amount of effort, the most amount of impact, and that are aligned with the company’s mission and business objectives.

Final thoughts:

  • Much of a success as a product manager will depend on the ability to make sound decisions.
  • To weigh multiple viewpoints, and to effectively solve user problems with compelling solutions.
  • SATs can help do each of these things while also building with collaborative product development culture.
  • And now that have mastered Structured Brainstorming.
  • It can take the next step with more advanced techniques.

Benefits of Structured Brainstorming:

The primary benefit of a structured brainstorming is that it’s a collaboration of ideas.However, there’s a difference between the structured brainstorming and unstructured brainstorming.In structured brainstorming, the participants are given guidelines and rules to follow, so that an input from the sessions is in an orderly manner and constructive.When it comes to an unstructured brainstorming, there are more ideas by participants.But the brainstorming session may not be leading towards any particular goal.The benefits gained from structured brainstorming are as below:

  • A collection of ideas from the team members with a regards to a specific issue or a problem will prove to be more successful.
  • Opens up a new culture within an organization where team members are free to a voice their ideas.
  • It further prevents dominant team members from taking the lead and giving the rest of a team members an unfair chance.
  • Promotes synergy among with team members.
  • Helps the team members to come up with an ideas to achieve the mission at hand

What is Amazon Redshift?

Dos and Don’ts of Structured BrainstormingA bad structured brainstorming session will cost an organization money, energy and time.If the objective of the brainstorming session is not met.This may cause finding factors, which trigger to a loss of projects, etc.Hence, here are the some methods for a successful brainstorming to be used in an organization.

Amazon Redshift
  • Focus is a crucial when it comes to a structured brainstorming session.
  • Sharpen the concentration levels of a participants.
  • Can use a some exercises at the beginning of the session in order to improve the focus of the participants.
  • Instead of writing down an arbitrary rules, positivity with a playfulness helps.
  • State the number of an ideas.
  • Build and jump.
  • Made the space remember.
  • Stretch a mental muscles.
  • Get practical.

Talk and brainstorm about all the possibilities/causes etc., for the issues at hand.Never miss the idea.Have someone recording the brainstorming session.

What is Amazon Redshift?

Tools for a Structured Brainstorming SWOT Analysis & PEST Analysis are more effective tools for a structured brainstorming. SWOT analysis is a useful tool when it comes to a decision making.SWOT stands for a Strengths, Weakness, an Opportunities and Threats.Brainstorming sessions are often use SWOT as an analysis tool for a reviewing strategies.SWOT analysis is used to an assess the following factors:

  • Market capitalization
  • Sales distribution methods
  • A brand or a product
  • A business idea
  • A strategy e.g., entering new markets
  • A department of the organization

PEST analysis refers to a Political, Economical, Social and Technology.PEST analysis is also often used in the brainstorming sessions to understand the market position of an organization.

PEST can be used an under the following reasons:

  • An organization analysing its market
  • A product for accessing its market
  • Assessing a specific brand in relation to a market
  • A newly venturing a business
  • For a new strategies based on the entering a market
  • For an acquisition
  • For an investment opportunity

Post-Structured Brainstorming Once have finished the brainstorming session, the following needs to be done:

  • Reduce the list of an ideas given based on the agreed priority
  • Mix the points, which are same in nature together
  • Discussion is crucial, merits to be given for every feedback
  • Eradicate an ideas that are not relevant to the topic
  • Give the team members a chance to jot down ideas if they have any and also communicate later

Structured brainstorming example scenarios:

Some situations in which you might benefit from the using structured brainstorming include:

    1. 1.Meeting to a discuss and address business strategy issues
    2. 2.Developing a product features to solved specific customer pain points
    3. 3.A team meeting to discuss and an address communication problems


Structured brainstorming is a technique used to made ideas, which can help to issue a problem.Structured brainstorming helps to support creative thinking and an enthusiasm between team members.It also supports freewill to accept every other’s thoughts.

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