Brainstorming in a Construction Project Management
Brainstorming is a technique wherein team members are free to express ideas about a certain topic in a group session. It is one of the widely used problem solving techniques for project managers because it encourages participants to make use of their creative thinking and share what is in their minds to generate solutions for a certain problem. Brainstorming is especially helpful to construction site projects since it is a large-scale project, and it needs extensive project management.
Benefits of Brainstorming to the Team
Managing a project requires teamwork for it to progress smoothly. Brainstorming is one of the methods that initiate the participation of all members, that is why it is important to be initiated. Here are some of the advantages that brainstorming offers :
- Provides an opportunity to all team members to express their ideas, or generate solutions to a problem.
- Along the process, the team may be able to design and create a method to improve work and get better results.
- It can help boost self-confidence for every member whenever they are given the power to generate an idea. It makes them feel that they have a “say” to the project and their ideas matter.
- Team members will be able to communicate with each other and bond over creative thinking and ideation.
- It stimulates more ideas. Just like how the quote goes : “Two is better than one”. The more people work together, the better. Everyone will be able to learn from each other as well.
Steps and Process when Brainstorming
Brainstorming also needs facilitation to be done properly. If you just start it by letting everyone speak, the ideas may not be relevant and the session will consume too much time. This is why you must also provide instructions from the very start so that the participants know how to properly brainstorm. Here are the lists to follow when you facilitate a brainstorming session :
- Start the session by explaining the objective, main topic, and the content of the meeting.
- If the group has too many people, divide them into smaller groups. A team with three to five people is better.
- Find potential leaders from the group and approach these people to lead the small groups and help with facilitation.
- Explain the rules, the process, and other instructions with participants. You may also provide an example of good ideation.
- Set a time duration, but provide consideration in case more time is needed.
- Let the people ask questions before the start.
- Assign a person from each group to record the ideas, questions, and other relevant information that is being tackled throughout the discussion.
- Allow each participant to contribute an idea and respect whatever they say.
- Review all ideas and sort the ones that are relevant, especially to those that serve as solutions to a problem.
- Summarize results, design a plan, and implement.
If you are a project manager, discover different types of brainstorming techniques and implement one each time you conduct a brainstorm session with your team. You may also design and create your own method. This way, you will be able to see which method works best for your team members. It also adds creativity and makes the brainstorm session more interesting for the participants. Here are some of the brainstorming techniques :
This technique gives a period of time to all members of the group to think individually. Activities for this technique usually deal with writing. If you are the group leader, select a topic, set a time frame, and let members think uninterrupted. Participants write the ideas from their minds to a paper. Mind mapping is one method that can be used during individual brainstorming. In this scenario, you provide the main topic, then they will write their ideas about it and link its relation to each other.
On this one, you have to be able to design a method that encourages creative thinking and makes all your members participate. Facilitating games can be one of your activities. An example of a game you can try is the “word game”. Here, you write a word in a paper, show it to the people, and let them generate an idea related to the word. Collect the ideas and summarize the results.
Another approach is via reverse brainstorming. You reverse the questions and members will answer with reverse solutions as well. The point would now be instead of solving the problem, you initiate a discussion on how to cause it. Here is an example: Your question can be “How do we make our plans disorganized?”. The reversed answer can be: “Do not follow the tasks assigned to you and just work on your own.” After the game, you have to reverse the results so from causing the problem, you then get the idea of how to solve it once reversed. From this example, the reversed explanation would be to work on the tasks assigned to you and do not get ahead of yourself. Follow according to plan because it serves as a guide of how the progress should be.
Brainstorming is a very fun and creative way to generate solutions to a problem. Having your team state what is in their minds makes great teamwork because this way, everyone is directly involved with the project management. When you collect many ideas, you can also come up with a great solution from analyzing all the information you received. You get to plan with your team and design methods with them to ensure that your project is at its best state. This proves the saying that “teamwork makes the dream work.”