Aim of method usage:
  • develop ideas
  • collect ideas
  • increase innovation
  • determine solution principle
  • determine features
Method classification:
  • Methods for analysis and aims
  • Methods for solution generation
Process phase:
  • conceptual design
  • embodiment design

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Brainstorming is a group-oriented method to generate ideas with the aim to collect as many different and even unconventional solution ideas regarding a specific topic or keyword in as little time as possible.
Participants are encouraged to freely produce a great number of ideas that are then taken up, altered and refined by the other participants as their associations may lead to new and improved suggestions.
Applying this method will stimulate the flow of ideas and thus create a greater number.


  1. preparation: the problem needs to be defined and presented, ideally this is done by a moderator
  2. repetition of brainstorming guidelines: all participants need to be aware of the guidelines (cf. notes)
  3. generation of ideas: all participants may voice, illustrate or visualize their ideas; in the following dialog other's ideas should be furthered.
  4. structuring the ideas: the moderator presents all ideas which are then evaluated and sorted according to their thematic significance; even now new ideas may appear for example by using a mindmap.
  5. review list of ideas: similar ideas or those not realizable are removed based on the group's agreement.
  6. evaluation of ideas: in a later session the group's protocol is checked for possible ambiguities and a rough selection takes place.
  7. documentation of ideas: the ideas are documented and explanations as well as comments like author, assumptions or conditions are added.

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
  • universal application
  • quick introduction to new topics
  • useful alternative if other methods come to nothing
  • engaging and motivating working atmosphere
  • highly dependent on creativity and discipline of participants
  • some discussion may lead off topic
  • group dynamic conflictsmay arise (strong personalities within the group will dominate discussions)
  • processing of results is time consuming
  • many solutions are likely to be useless
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  aktualisiert am Nov. 15, 2015, 3:29 p.m.
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