Does your latest project require only the most innovative thinking? Could your team do with working in a different way to make the most of their creative skillsets? Project management training courses can teach you the basics, but sometimes you need to switch up your brainstorming techniques dependent on the project in hand. Brainstorming can be a really excellent way to find truly great project solutions.
Here are some tips to help you make your brainstorming sessions epic:Set It Up Right
It is important that your team are in the best possible creative environment for brainstorming. You should not try and promote creativity in a stressful, or overly busy environment. Everyone present should be able to be heard and contribute accordingly. Think hard about where you could hold a brainstorming session. Is a relaxed setting like a quiet work room, local coffee shop or even a park a good idea? Could you have a brainstorming session in an environment related to the project? Think outside the box from the very beginning of your brainstorming planning - it will set you up for an excellent session.Get The Ideas Recorded
You could simply record the session on your phone or on a dictaphone as a record of what was said. You could also have lots of paper and pens around to accommodate different types of thinkers. As long as everything said in the session is recorded in some way, it doesn't matter how it is recorded.Promote Creativity From All Different Types Of Thinkers
Some people work best talking about ideas, others need to draw diagrams and others prefer to use methodologies. Enable all different types of thinkers to get their creative juices flowing. Don't obstruct anyones way of working by creating a single brainstorming project management framework, this will only hinder potential big ideas coming forward.Make It Fun
Try to incorporate games into your brainstorming session. Sometimes when too much focus is put on thinking of an idea, brain blocks happen and thinking becomes less free and therefore less productive. Start the session with some simple games like word association relating to the project, or even something completely ridiculous like charades relating to different aspects of the project. Sometimes the craziest approaches to working can spark a fantastic idea.Stay Positive
Don't ever discount an idea as ‘wrong’. Project management training teaches us about flexibility and problem-solving, which means nothing should ever be discounted as a solution. There is a time and a place for putting aside certain ideas or opinions in order to move forward, but in a brainstorming session everything is open to consideration.Keep Everyone Involved
Make sure everyone has the opportunity to be involved. Encourage those who have lots of ideas, but ensure everyone has an equal chance to speak. The quieter members of the group may not want to speak at first, but if you promote consistent positivity and pretty much praise anything they suggest, they should get more into the session.
These are just some of the ways you can make brainstorming sessions absolutely epic. They are an essential part of every project management framework and whether you are using the APMP , PMP or PRINCE2 methodology they can help improve dialogue and discussions. Take all criticism, negativity and ignorance out of the equation and promote truly free thinking - your project will benefit.