A brainstorming session can be held to identify a requirements wish list, approaches to solving a problem or opportunities to explore. Whatever the objective is, it is expected that one or more ideas that can potentially deliver immense benefits to the business will be born during this creative process.
In reality however, the intended results of the brainstorming session do not always see the light of day. In some cases, the ideas are left to fester until the initial enthusiasm fizzles away, leading to a failed effort.
So, what is the missing link?
What you do AFTER the brainstorming session is just as important as what you do to prepare for and hold the session. This article presents a list of 10 things that should be done after each brainstorming session to increase the chances of success:
- Document the output of the brainstorming session.
- Distribute the document to all the relevant stakeholders in a timely fashion. This document should contain the next steps to be taken.
- Ask the stakeholders to contribute more ideas in case new ones have occurred to them since the previous session. This may involve refining their initial ideas or offering more alternatives for consideration.
- Identify a champion (this can be in addition to the BA) that understands the time commitment, support and dedication needed to implement the change. The champion should have the support of management and continue speaking in favour of the upcoming change to ensure that positive vibes are preserved.
- Develop a communication plan that will ensure key stakeholders are kept in the loop throughout the course of the project.
- Organise a small working session after the brainstorming session so that the key stakeholders can organise the ideas generated, evaluate them based on predefined criteria and prioritise them in order to identify and agree on the way forward.
- Develop a plan of action to arrive at the desired destination. This should contain at the minimum, a list of tasks to be completed, the responsible parties and the estimated time frame.
- The idea(s) that have been selected for implementation should be communicated to stakeholders.
- Once the action plan has been created, it’s important to follow-up with individual members of the working team to ensure that each task is completed. Progress should also be measured and tracked using milestones.
- Seek feedback. Were the intended results achieved?
The end of the brainstorming session should signify the beginning of an initiative, no matter how small. There are numerous activities that need to be completed beyond the session to ensure that relevant ideas see the light of day.
What else should be on this list?
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