Brainstorming – Trendy or Not?

BrainstormingIt’s popular. It’s a classic. Those who endorse it say it’s an effective technique for generating many ideas but not a standalone method, so it should be used with other creative techniques. Those who criticize it say it generates mediocre ideas that are likely never implemented as solutions to problems. But this 60-year old technique called brainstorming – whose effectiveness is an evergreen hot topic among researchers, users, and critics – helps to identify project risks.

Brainstorming – The Definition

According to Merriam-Webster, brainstorming is “a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group; also: the mulling over of ideas by one or more individuals in an attempt to devise or find a solution to a problem”.

Brainstorming – The Story

A technique with a catchy name, brainstorming has been around since the 1950s when Alex Osborn’s book Your Creative Power was published, becoming a best-seller. This book may be “an amalgam of pop science and business anecdote”, as Jonah Lehrer called it in a New Yorker article that triggered lots of e-ink on discussion forums, but brainstorming is easy to implement and generates many ideas. Besides that, it’s a great team-building exercise, which may also justify its popularity with businesses. A brainstorming session emphasizes the quantity, not quality, of ideas and one of the rules to brainstorming sessions is no criticism so that people do not fear their ideas are rejected by the group and, thus, limit their imagination.

Brainstorming Types

There’s individual and group brainstorming, with individual brainstorming being better for problem solving and group brainstorming better for identifying project risks. Group brainstorming draws from the intelligence and experiences of more people but ideas expressed loudly may be biased since people do worry about others’ opinions even if one of Osborn’s rules for group brainstorming is “no criticism”. Online brainstorming—a sub-type of group brainstorming—uses e-brainstorming tools to help remote teams share their ideas in real time. Read the rest of this entry »

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Pro — Pv

Program Definition Statement (“PDS”)

Program Director

Program Directorate

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (“PERT”)

Program Execution Phase

Program Executive

Program Identification Phase

Program Management

Program Management Office

Program Manager

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Pa — Pro

PA

Package

PAR

Parameter

Parameters

Parametric Cost Estimating

Parametric Estimating

Parent Activity

Parent, in scheduling

Pareto Diagram

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Z

Zero Based Budgeting

Zero Dollar Contract

Zero Float

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Y

Yield

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – V

VAC

Validate Contract

Validation

Valuation

Value

Value Analysis

Value Engineering

Value Enhancing Project Strategies

Value Improvement

Value Management (“VM”)

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – U

UB

UI

UML

Unavoidable Delay

Uncertainty

Uncontrollable Risks

Under-allocation

Underrun

Understanding

Undistributed Budget (“UB”)

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – T

T&M

T&E

TAB

Tactics

Tailor

Takeoff

Talent

Target

Target Completion Date (“TC”)

Target Cost

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – S

S Curve

S Curve Tracking

SA-CMM

Safety

Safety Plan

Salary Administration

Sales

Salvage

Sample

Sample Plan, Multiple

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – R

RAM

RAMP

Random Observation

Random Sample

Range

Rank

Ranked Positional Weight Method (“RPWM”)

Ranking

Rapid Implementation

Rationale

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