The Brainstorm – Root Cause Identification...

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A Brainstorm Process can be a highly effective method for identifying causes of problems or for extracting approaches to solving problems, however, it can at times be over-shadowed by other improvement methods. The Brainstorming process when effectively implemented will generate a broad range of positive and creative ideas from the participants of the process.

In a brainstorming process, the meeting participants are encouraged in an open and participative manner to think about and suggest as many ideas as they can about the topic. No idea suggested will be negated even if the suggestion seems very far fetched. This is a key point, as one of the prime benefits of brainstorming is that ideas feed off each other, so while one suggestion may seem totally impractical, it may result in a stream of ideas from other participants which may help get to (say) the root cause of a problem or may lead to new and novel approaches to implementing a task.

The discussion, analysis, acceptance or rejection of ideas comes towards the later stages of the brainstorming process, when idea “evaluation” is implemented.


Brainstorm objectives

The key objective of a brainstorming session is to generate a broad range and a large number of ideas, from a team of individuals who are involved in a process, in a relatively short period of time.

Root Cause Identification. Brainstorm Training

Pareto Analysis
Bottleneck Analysis
Etc. Etc.
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Brainstorm process implementation steps.


1st step, the problem or task needs to be identified.

2nd step. There needs to be a leader identified who will organize and facilitate the brainstorming session.

3rd, the basics such as location, time, who will be invited to attend, when will they be available, etc., needs to be determined.

4th, the individuals identified need to be contacted, asked to attend and informed about why the session is being organized and informed about why they are seen as important to the process. This is critical as we want to have positive buy-in from attendees at the very start.

The next stage (5th), is to establish the values of the session. This may seen somewhat un-important, but this gets back to the concept of all suggestions being valid no matter how outlandish, until the ideas are evaluated. It is important that the participants fully understand the culture and values within a brainstorm session and do not seek to go into a meeting and dominate or enforce their own pre-conceived ideas over the group.

The 6th step. When the session commences, the facilitator needs to clearly define and explain the goal of the session, and ensure all are bought into the task and the approach. The facilitator will also explain, the process itself, why the various attendees have been invited, the approximate time allocation, the method for progressing ideas suggested, etc..


The 7th step, is to let the ideas and suggestions flow, encouraging as much participation as possible.

8th step. When the group look to have exhausted potential ideas, the facilitator will then change the focus of the session, to see if the suggestions proposed can be naturally grouped together. At this time, when forming natural groups, the facilitator will aim for as much consensus as possible.

9th step. Once the ideas have been grouped, then the team will need to try to prioritize the ideas. At this stage, consensus may not be possible, so the facilitator will have pre-determined a method for idea prioritization.

10th step. Finally, the follow-on process, in terms of how and when a plan to implement will be outlined. The plan itself may not be produced from the brainstorming session, but before the session is completed, there should be agreement on how the ideas will be progressed into an implementation plan.

TQM Tools and Techniques Full Details

Quality Improvement Techniques

Information & Training. | Total Quality Management Tools and Techniques …

        • Continuous improvement utilizing Analytical Techniques.
        • Brainstorming
        • 5 why’s analysis
        • Process Flow Diagrams/Flowcharts/Process Mapping
        • Check sheets /Check Lists
        • Run charts
        • Histograms
        • Scatter Diagrams/Scatter Plot
        • Cause and Effect/Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams
        • Identifying sources & causes of variation
        • Control/Shewart Charts/DPU Charts
        • Cpk and Ppk Analysis
        • Pareto Analysis
        • Bottleneck Analysis
        • Benchmarking
        • FMEA
        • FTA
        • HAZOP
        • SIPOC
        • Etc. Etc.
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