Brain storming in Problem Solving

Brain storming is an ideal lateral thinking process to pool relevant ideas, data on effects and impacts to the process, suggestions and possible root causes as part of initiating the problem solving process. The lean team or lean champion usually leads a brainstorming session to extract and organize as much information and facts as possible in a short period of time. Brain storming is a simple process which has few rules or set structures, although discussing one situation or problem at once helps keep the focus of the group and avoids going off on tangents. Problem solving tools should also be used to achieve a structured problem solving approach, such as: problem treesfishbone diagrams5why’s and pareto charts.

Brain storming suggestions

During the brain storming sessions it is recommended that no ideas, suggestions or data is dismissed or criticised and the contribution from all team members is appreciated by the leader or moderator.

It is also a good idea to promote free thinking and the suggestions of ideas that may not seem directly associated with the issue or are far fetched, as these can lead to further constructive discussions about the issues at hand.

If ideas are suggested that could help other kaizen initiatives of problem solving efforts, make sure that they are noted and documented to refer to them later. A large whiteboard is a common medium to record the ideas and suggestions the team make through out the brainstorming process as it is easy for everyone to see and can be referred to later by different team members.

It is also imperative that everyone in the brain storming session contributes to the group effort and that the meeting is documented and all ideas written down so that the kaizen or lean team can refer to the meeting minutes at later time.

Before the brain stroming session or meeting the person leading such meeting should request that different team members bring relevant information that may be useful in the idea generation and problem solving process.

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