A technique used to generate ideas around a specific topic. Often done in groups, but can be done individuals. The process usually involves writing down all ideas around a topic onto paper, a whiteboard or stickies often implying some kind of association.
The idea is to get all ideas out on the table without critique, addressing the output later with tasks that might involve consolidation, rejection, groupings and prioritisation. Brainstorms are better suited to being performed in groups to increase the number of ideas generated.
Key to a successful brainstorm: no idea is a bad idea. A facilitator is often required to run a group session and extract the required information from participants.
We run brainstorm session as part of workshop during a project inception and throughout key decision points throughout. Similar techniques can be used in other internal processes such as retrospectives.