Brainstorming Six Sigma and Agile

Brainstorming is a tool that is used for generating new ideas for solving a problem and is a key component of Six Sigma. It is a creative method that helps in solving a problem by listing the number of options that can be applied to solve the problem and then choosing the optimal one. The brainstorming tool is used at all the levels of problem solving. This technique combined with the Agile Methodology is a strong tool to know what enhancements can be done in a given solution or approach.

This tool can be used individually or in a group I have always used it as a group. I sometimes brainstorm alone during walks but always share my ideas with the group/team as a whole. If done individually, then the person himself is responsible for generating new ideas and selecting or rejecting them which is totally Un-Agile in my opinion.

When brainstorming is practiced in a group, all the team members are asked to come up with their thoughts and ideas, and then one by one, each idea is analyzed and later selected or rejected. If selected, then further improvements in the idea are made by brainstorming the options for enhancements, and hence the process of brainstorming is repeated at each level.
When using the Six Sigma Methodology and during the Analyze phase, Brainstorming helps to gather all the possible ideas that play an important role in validating the root causes.
Brainstorming means generation of ideas. The basic purpose of brainstorming is to come up with new ideas or solutions regarding some problem. Lists of ideas or solutions are chalked out and then the final choice is made from the options that are available.

There are various factors that make a session of brainstorm a success:
It is very important to see that everyone involved in the session fully supports the query that needs to be discussed for new ideas.
Noting down the ideas generated in the minds makes it easier to remember them. Therefore the team must be encouraged to do so.
A brainstorming session must be open dialogue or discussion. Everyone in the session must get a chance to present his or her set of ideas.
No judgment must be passed during the session.
In order to save time all irrelevant ideas must be eliminated and duplicity done away with.
In a nutshell, we can say that a brainstorming session usually starts with a definite question and ends with a list of candid ideas.
Remember Alex Osborn is credited for coining the term “brainstorm” in 1939. And according to Osborn, “Brainstorm means using the brain to storm a creative problem and to do so” “in commando fashion, each individual audaciously attacking the same objective”.

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