Brainstorming is an example of a powerful Six Sigma Tool

Brainstorming is an example of a powerful Six Sigma Tool. Imagine you have a problem and don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to solve the problem or haven’t taken any action. What can you do to solve this problem?

Brainstorming is perfect for allowing innovative ideas to flow and can be used to solve a problem, generate multiple potential solutions, organize thoughts, help with analysis and decision-making, and to take notes during a meeting or interview.

If you work in a creative field, your idea generation process should be fluid and free flowing. It’s important to brainstorm as many ideas as possible – even if they seem ridiculous at first. If you work in a technical field, however, it might be more beneficial to have a structured approach that helps you narrow down your options.

Tools to Keep Your Brainstorming Structured

These Six Sigma brainstorm techniques will help you keep your brainstorming organized and follow a plan.

An Affinity Diagram is a method for organizing ideas using graphic organizers. In a brainstorming session, you write down ideas on sticky notes and then help organize them based on similarity. This is a fantastic way to keep an organized, structured brainstorming meeting.

This exercise can reveal current ideas, as well as team members’ attitudes towards a project or product. If you do an Affinity Diagram with your team, it will also show how people collaborate, and create a shared understanding of what’s important.

Fishbone Diagram is a visual way of showing causes and effects. This diagram can be used for creative thinking, project planning, and organizing because it allows you to brainstorm ideas by placing them on a template that contains the six main domains which are: • people • time • money • material/equipment • environment • Quality Control.

The Improve phase, which is the fourth phase of the DMAIC cycle (the fourth phase), would be the best time to brainstorm. You brainstorm solutions and outcomes. You then choose the one that will make the improvement.

Brainstorming example group session
Brainstorming Sessions; Brainstorm Techniques;
Brainstorm Meetings; Brainstorming Topics

When to conduct a brainstorming session?

Brainstorming can be used when there are a lot of options and creative ideas. In brainstorming, there is no room for criticism. Participation is stifled by it. It is not an innovative idea to spend too much time evaluating ideas. This can be done later. You shouldn’t drag the discussion along. Keep the conversation moving! It’s okay to ask questions, but it’s better to keep the wheels turning!

The basics of Brainstorming

A successful session requires several basic requirements:

  1. The problem must be understood by everyone.
  2. The problem should not be complex or multifaceted. A smaller subproblem of the problem should be looked at if it is.
  3. Ideal is a group of three to ten people. It is not possible to have enough interaction among people in a small group so ideas can flow between each other. A larger group is, however, too cumbersome. A brainstorming session is not complete without some people.

Before you begin brainstorming, it is important to identify the problem. The problem should be clearly defined, not too large, and captured in a clear question such as “What service is available for mobile phones now but is needed later?” If the problem is too large, the chairperson can break it down into smaller parts, each with its own question.

Select Participants

The chairman chairs the brainstorming panel. There are many options, but this is the most common:

  • Many core members have shown themselves to be a valuable part of the project
  • Many guests, some from outside the project but with an affinity to the problem.
  • One idea collector, who records all the ideas suggested

Write a Background Memo

Background memos are invitations and informational letters for participants. They contain the session name, problem, and date. A question is used to describe the problem and provides some examples for the brainstorming session. These ideas can be used to solve the problem or to help the session move along. To allow participants to think about the problem ahead of time, the memo should be sent at least two days before the session.

Make a list of lead questions

The brainstorming session may lead to decreased creativity if not managed properly. The leader should encourage creativity at this point by asking a leading question such as “Can these ideas be combined?” or “How do we look at things from another perspective?” Before the session starts, it is an innovative idea to make a list.

Variations of Brainstorming with examples

Below are some brainstorming techniques. The newer forms of brainstorming are designed to overcome production blockages and can be superior to the traditional method. Here are some examples:

Brainstorming Techniques

Brainstorm techniques #1: Nominal Group Technique

This encourages everyone to have an equal voice in the process. This method can also be used to create a ranked list.

Participants are asked anonymously to submit their ideas. The moderator then collects all ideas and asks for group votes. A simple vote could be as simple as a handshake in support of an idea. This is known as distillation.

Brainstorm techniques #2: Group Passing Technique

This is how it works: Each person in a circle writes one idea and then passes the paper to the next person clockwise. They add some thoughts. The process is repeated until everyone gets their original paper. For example, in this scenario of brainstorming everyone will have collaborated on everyone else’s’ idea by this point.

An alternative is to use this method is to create an idea book and attach a routing slip or distribution list to the front. On the first page of your book, you should include a description of the problem. The book is distributed to the first person who lists their ideas. The second person can add innovative ideas to the list or log existing ideas. The process continues until all the distribution lists are exhausted. The book is then read out again to review the ideas. Although this takes more time, it allows for individual thinking whenever the person has the time.

Brainstorm techniques #3: Individual Brainstorming

This is the practice of brainstorming in a single session. This includes techniques such as free writing, word association, word association, and the spider web, which is a visual note-taking technique that allows people to diagram their thoughts.

How to effectively Brainstorm?

You can just put several people together and have them each throw their ideas around in a brainstorming meeting on a brainstorming topic, right? Nope! Brainstorming is so much more than that.

For example, let’s look at the seven steps that will make it easy to brainstorm.

1: Define a leader

It is important to identify a leader to ensure that all steps are taken correctly and in a well-organized manner, which will avoid any conflicts.

Conflict is dangerous in the initial stages because it encourages rejection of ideas that are not yet developed. The leader controls each stage of Brainstorming.

2: All members should work together with their ideas

Encourage everyone to share their ideas, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The more people who participate, the more ideas you will get. Even if not, all are used, it will encourage creativity among the participants.

Brainstorming values common sense and proactivity. It also values arguments and the courage to share ideas.

3: No idea is wrong, because it’s necessary

The Brainstorming meeting is open to all ideas. Because creation is a process that requires one thought to be abandoned for the next to emerge, more ideas are better. If the flow stops or there are too many ideas, you can synthesize them all and put them in categories.

You are now ready to begin your training in one the most sought-after methodologies available!

4: Set a time to take notes

The team will be able to concentrate during Brainstorming by timing the notes. This “challenge”, which forces the mind to produce creative ideas in each amount of time, is called Brainstorming.

5: Ideas must be registered

Registering the ideas is crucial because it will ensure that nothing from the Brainstorming meeting is forgotten. This will also facilitate analysis. It is possible to write the information on a card or board so that everyone can see how you have constructed ideas.

Post-it notes are another popular method. They allow ideas to quickly be registered, edited, or discarded.

Finally, you can separate them into categories and organize them according to their similarity in content.

6: Do not point fingers

Brainstorming is about solving problems, not finding faults. If the goal of the tool is to blame someone, or something, it loses some meaning.

7: Select from the best ideas

As a group, look at the Brainstorming ideas and decide which ones are the best. You should observe whether the group is focused on the problem, and whether their ideas are feasible. Utopian or unworkable solutions won’t work.

Brainstorming example
Brainstorming Sessions; Brainstorm Techniques;
Brainstorm Meetings; Brainstorming Topics

The Power of Brainstorming

The Brainstorm meeting is a way for a group to get the best results possible by combining all their resources. It helps practitioners sort out ideas so they can plan while gathering new data and can accelerate the information-gathering session because each person in the session adds value to the result. There is no need to reject any idea, and everyone is welcome to contribute. This can result in many valuable contributions and eventually, improvements.

Potential Lean Six Sigma Brainstorm Topics:

  • Brainstorm topics #1: Creating flows for a process map
  • Brainstorm topics #1: Creating ways to measure data
  • Brainstorm topics #1: Finding root causes of issues.
  • Brainstorm topics #1: Creating a SIPOC – producing all Inputs & Outputs.
  • Brainstorm topics #1: Creating a Project Charter – Stakeholders & Influences.