Combine Brainstorming with Cause and Effect Diagram (Ishikawa)

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Combine Brainstorming with Cause and Effect Diagram (Ishikawa)
Daryll Brown, UK
I find that combining Brainstorming with a Cause and Effect Diagram (Ishikawa) helps to generate ideas while the structure of the diagram helps to keep the ideas flowing. If the team comes to a stop on one branch then you encourage them to move on to another to keep them thinking.

Fishbone Diagram in Brainstorming
Christian D. Clores, Director, Philippines
You can indeed consider using a Fishbone Diagram as a guide for a brainstorming session.
This allows all involved to focus on one particular overall goal to achieve, while also taking advantage of everyone's expertise area. Approximate steps:
1. Explain the idea behind the diagram.
2. Explain the overall goal (e.g. make the annual sales quotum).
3. Explain the branches, for example:
- How can SALES generate new customers.
- How can MARKETING help to achieve more sales.
- How can AFTER SALES retain more customers).
4. Assign each individual to a branch according to his/her background.
5. Let each individual think individually for a couple of hours for ways to achieve the overall goal.
6. Ask everyone to present their ideas and evaluate it with the leader (linking all ideas).
7. Filter the ideas to come up with the final strategy.

Extra Fishbone Branch When Brainstorming?
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
You might want to consider adding one extra branch 'miscellaneous ideas' to be able to capture creative ideas in areas you didn't think about before too.
All participants may then come with ideas in their own area, or this extra one.

Brainstorming Software
Christian D. Clores, Director, Philippines
@Jaap de Jonge (Editor): That will do.. You might want to consider software like Mindmap of ConceptDraw Office also. Thanks!


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