Working remotely has changed teamwork - brainstorming sessions are no exception. When looking at people behind the screens, the ambience is far from the usual situation where people are sharing the environment and are able to read each other’s body language. In virtual brainstorming sessions, there might be technical issues popping up, distractions and bad ergonomy. However, introverted people may actually prefer remotely held brainstorming sessions. And in fact, there are a lot of things that can be controlled. Control and brainstorming may seem distant from each other, but there are ways to make virtual brainstorming sessions more effective. Our Brainstorming Template includes every step you need in order to plan and carry out successful brainstorming sessions with your team, customers and business partners.
A Brainstorming Template makes brainstorming sessions more structured and easy to follow. The goals and the background or research part can be filled out before the meeting to speed up the process. It can be done by the facilitator or several people. The brainstorming whiteboard makes it easy for everyone to join the ride. When the brainstorming session is over, the facilitator nails down the conclusions, decisions and action points so that the value of the brainstorming session will never have to be questioned.
“Planned is half done” as a Finn says. Anytime you think about the topic of the brainstorming session you tune your brain. Share the template with the team so that they can tune their brain too. When the session day comes, everybody knows the structure of the session and are ready to jump into the topic. Most importantly, using the Brainstorming Template makes sure that decisions are backed up by rationales and that action items are lacking never again.
Our Brainstorming Template starts with the goals of the brainstorming session. In addition, any problems that you want to solve should be addressed at this point.
Second, add background information or research about the topic. Make it as clear as possible - do not forget screenshots or figures if they make the topic easier to understand.
Third, the stage - or the Brainstorming Whiteboard - is yours! At Kipwise, we use Miro for this purpose. Although it might sound counterintuitive, solo time is a good extra spice for your brainstorming session. Maybe some solo time first, then discussion followed by another round of solo time. Discover what suits your team! Learn more about working with the whiteboard from our blog.
Fourth, it is time to wrap up. But wait! There should be a conclusion for every meeting. What has been decided and why? Make sure that everyone know what has been decided so that every session is set to pave the way for reaching common goals.
Finally, and most importantly, write down who is going to do what. Discussion and ideas are great but if something is a task of Anybody, there will be Nobody working for it. Believe it or not, by defining actions and responsibilities clearly is habit that eliminates a great deal of frustration and thus boosts efficiency.