You’ve Heard of Brainstorming, but have you Heard of BrainWriting??

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You’ve Heard of Brainstorming, but have you Heard of Brain Writing??

When you work in software development, there are always times when you need to get the team together in order to solve a problem. The most popular method for problem solving tends to be brainstorming (even though most people don’t know how to actually do this); however there are instances when brainstorming may not be the way to go. In such cases, you may want to try brain writing!

The Downsides of Brainstorming

Several aspects of brainstorming make it attractive; no criticism of ideas, wild ideas are appreciated, get as many ideas as possible, then try and merge ideas to arrive at a solution. However, anyone who has worked in a real work environment knows that sometimes an ideal brainstorming session is difficult to facilitate. There are several reasons for this, including:

• An introverted group of participants

• People’s fear of being judged for their contributions

• Management doesn’t appreciate wild ideas

• Time restriction

• Very large groups

In such instances brain writing might be just what you need.

What is Brain writing?

Brain writing is essentially brainstorming on a paper. It works by giving each participant a piece of paper and introducing them to the problem at hand. Then each participant is asked to write their ideas on the paper they are given within a few minutes time. Once they have completed writing their ideas, the each participant’s paper is passed to another individual. This individual will read the earlier participant’s idea carefully, then add any ideas they have to the same paper. Then the process is repeated. Usually within 10 – 15 minutes you can generate several terrific ideas.

The Advantages of Brain writing

As can be seen, brain writing has several advantages over brainstorming:

• Quiet people don’t have to speak up – they can write

• It can work very well even in large groups

• People don’t feel intimidated to express their views due to the anonymity

• Loud individuals aren’t able to influence others

• Lots of ideas in just a few minutes

• No wasteful talk

When Not to Use Brain Writing

Even though brain writing seems simple enough, there are times when it may not prove very effective.

Some examples include:

• When the problem is very complex and participants may find it very difficult to express their ideas in writing

• If a new team is being formed then you may want to use brainstorming since everyone will likely be comfortable with this method

 We hope you found this article helpful. If you need some help with software development, please do contact us at


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