INTRODUCTION:This is the second article of three (3). The titles 0f the three (3) articles are: THE FIVE (5) STEP MODEL; BRAIN STORMING METHODOLOGY; ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS. The second article focuses on the BRAINSTORMING application.


This is a subset to the PROBLEM - SOLVING PROCESS. It is employed a couple of times in the process step 2 – Problem Definition/Analysis and again in steps 3 Problem Evaluation and step 4 Problem Solution.

Brainstorming is a tool that utilizes a team of people constructively interacting in a controlled state. The team leader of the problem-solving group acts as a facilitator. That person’s role is to ensure the team stays focused and follows the rules established for BRAINSTORMING.

Those rules are:

  • As the team addresses the task at hand (one of the steps noted above in the problem-solving process) these are the rules employed:
    • One idea per person per round
    • All ideas presented are great.
      • No criticism/comments are permitted.
    • To pass is ok.
    • Ideas will stimulate others.
    • Continue to go around until all people pass.
  • Upon exhausting all of the ideas, the participants will then discuss the suggestions providing pros and cons for each thought provided
  • Next will be a voting stage where each person will have the opportunity to vote for those ideas thought to be appropriate
  • The ideas are narrowed down to the top 5 vote getters. Discussion will begin again with the author of the respective idea explaining in more details their belief why that idea is more applicable. Further discussion will ensue until commentary is finished.
  • The next step is to vote again EXCEPT YOU HAVE ONLY ONE (1) VOTE. You must choose the one that best fits from your perspective based on the information/discussion provided.
  • Once this voting stage is done the top 3 vote gatherers are applied to that respective stage of the problem - solving steps.


All these ideas are collected in conjunction with the respective Problem-Solving Steps noted:

  • Step 2 – Problem Definition/Analysis
  • Step 3 – Problem Evaluation
  • Step 4 – Problem Solution

In the employment of the Brainstorming, there is a lot of information discussed and voting numbers. To aide in this, the third article will present the tool of Root -cause analysis. This is how the facilitator and a scribe keep track of information presented.

Look for more insight in the next article entitled, “ROOT-CAUSE ANALYSIS”!