Planning for the session
- The project lead must assign a day and time for the brainstorming session.
- Send mails to the team with the content dump or raw content, the learning objectives, learner persona, and schedule for this activity.
- Give them three days (may vary) learning time. This is to ensure that everyone has gone through the material before they meet. Everyone will be on the same plane and this will be the foundation of the discussion.
- You can also break the brainstorming across a few days to ensure that it is not too much for the participants. We, typically, start with macro design brainstorming and then move to micro design or page-level brainstorming.
- Arrange a place where the brainstorming session will be held. Ensure that the room can accommodate all participants. You should ensure that everyone will be facing each other. This ensures active participation by all.
- Appoint one person as the mediator. This person can introduce the topic and write down the points on the white board.
- He/she must list the rules of the session. These are:
- Any idea is welcome. No idea will be scorned at or mocked.
- List down all the ideas and then discuss each one by one the pros and cons and whether it is feasible or not.
- Do not judge or negate anything immediately. An idea will be rejected based on the consensus of the group.
- Similarly, the strategy will be decided based on consensus of the group. Discussions will continue till everyone agrees to an idea.
- There is no limit to the number of ideas. Keep noting till no more come up.
- Encourage everyone to participate and share their ideas.
- Ensure that the conversation does not digress into other topics or a specific idea.
- Discuss the ideas written on the white board one by one. One by one drop the ideas that won't work. Discuss till you gain a buy in from all.
- It helps think of various alternatives keeping in mind the learners, the learning objectives, and the project constraints.
- It ensures the buy-in of the whole team. Everyone understands how to proceed and are on the same page. Active participation of the team ensures that they are more involved in the project (beginning to end).
- It ensures that you do things differently each time. Your courses will be innovative.
- It increases quality as everyone is working toward a common goal and every stage value will be added as rework will be minimal.
- It increases the motivational level of the team. Everyone will do their best as now it is their 'baby' too.