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Brainstorming is a group exercise for generating creative ideas around a specific problem.

During a brainstorming session participants should be encouraged to present ideas of 'lateral thought' without criticism. Plenty of dross is usually manufactured but it can lead to original solutions to problems.

The output from a brainstorming session will be qualitative and further data gathering investigation may be required to support or prove ideas. It may also be necessary to carry out more detailed analysis of the problem with tools such as an Affinity Diagram or Cause and Effect Diagram.

How to - Brainstorm
(pdf 51 kb)
The guide includes an overview of brainstorming, benefits, how to conduct a brainstorming session; as well as exercises for getting started...
The US Navy Total Quality Leadership Office

Continual Improvement Tools & Techniques
A Guide for Business Improvement

Continual Improvement Tools & Techniques: A Guide for Business Improvement
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This guide explains how to carry out more than twenty tools & techniques necessary to ensure your business continually improves.

Topics covered include:

Affinity diagrams, Bar charts, Black & white charts, Brainstorming, Cause & effect diagrams, Design of Experiments (DoE), Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMEA/FMECA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Five WHY’s for root cause analysis, Five Ws & one H for problem definition, Flow charting, Histograms, Pareto analysis, Pictograms, Pie charts, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Rating, Repeatability and Reproducibility tests (R&R), Run charts, Significance testing, Solution effect diagrams

Also includes a handy matrix showing when to apply which tool & technique.

Further reading

The Memory Jogger II: A Pocket Guide of Tools for Continuous Improvement

The Memory Jogger II: A Pocket Guide of Tools for Continuous Improvement
Michael Brassard

This handy Pocket Guide uses graphics and easy-to-understand text to describe what the tools are, why they’re used, and how to use them. Tools are explained using real-life examples from all types of organisations, making them easy for everyone to understand and apply. The 22 Tools covered are
Activity Network Diagram, Affinity Diagram, Brainstorming, Cause & Effect (Fishbone), Check Sheets, Control Charts, Data Points, Flowchart, Force Field Analysis, Histograms, Interrelationship Digraph (ID), Matrix Diagram, Multivoting, Pareto Chart, Prioritization Matrices, Problem Solving Model, Process Capability, Radar Chart, Run Chart, Scatter Diagram, Team Guidelines, Tree Diagram, Process Decision, Program Chart, Nominal Group Technique (NGT).

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The site is run by Infinite Innovations Ltd a company dedicated to creative thinking and brainstorming...

Brainstorming is just one of a wide-range of topics covered by this US site. The site also provides a wealth of information for helping you to understand difficult problems and to develop, evaluate and implement creative solutions...







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