How to run a brainstorming session - Mind Map

Use this template

This mind map creates a toolbox map to support a brainstorming session.

Keywords: communication, brainstorming, toolbox map, brainstorming session

How to run a brainstorming session

How to run a brainstorming session

Learn how to run a brainstorming session using this brainstorming toolbox template.

To run a brainstorming session, you have to establish a specific objective.

Then, you have to think about the time you will need to find the creative solutions you are looking for.

Start with a story or a scenario to show to the group of people that take part in this brainstorming session what you are looking for.

Assign tasks to some team members that will help you with the brainstorming session.For example, you will need a person to take notes. You can use this mind map or a new mind map. Also, for a good brainstorming session, you will need a group of people that has knowledge in the area you are interested in to find ideas. People who ask questions and participate actively in the brainstorming session are valuable too. They will help you to generate ideas with ease. Besides the fact that they are sharing their ideas, they will challenge others to express their opinion and come with creative ideas.

When you are organizing brainstorming meetings, you should follow the steps from this template:

Explain to the team members what you are going to do and keep them up to date with all the information they need

Offer them some time to think about the problem

Collect all the ideas, whether you think they are useful or not

Create a list of ideas from the participants and add it to the template

Combine ideas and build upon the ideas of other people to generate new ideas

Ask participants to reflect for a while on the ideas

Add some criteria which will help you to filter and score ideas, like performance, costs, alignment with strategy, risk levels

Filter ideas based on your criteria

Set out the next actions like obtaining support from stakeholders, creating prototypes or wireframes, and testing them

Where to next?

Once you have completed mind map, you can use it to:

Share your mind map with other team members to keep them informed about the following actions to be taken.

Brainstorming Session Name

Type in the name or subject of your brainstorming


Move to action

If your session has generated some worthwhile directions, set out the next actions.

- Developing ideas further
- Feasibility studies
- Obtaining support from other stakeholders
- Detailed design
- Prototypes or wireframe mockups
- Trials and tests

Evaluate ideas

Now you can start to filter ideas against your criteria, and use the criteria to improve them.

Add notes with your observations.

Set minimum criteria


Add a criterion or requirement against which you will filter and score ideas.

Think about:

Incubate ideas

New idea

Give participants some time to reflect on the ideas generated, before evaluating them. New ideas and insights can arise after some time away from the session.

Type them in.

Combine and build on ideas


Without evaluating or judging, build upon the ideas from other people, using them as triggers for different ideas.

Type in your observations.

Organise and group ideas

Related ideas

Group similar or related ideas together. Look for emerging patterns and gaps created by patterns.

Gather ideas


Do not prioritize or evaluate ideas when gathering them. Do not suppress ideas because they are too strange or obscure.

Add notes with the rules of your brainstorming session.

Personal brainstorming


Give participants some time to come up with individual ideas. These can often get lost in group discussions.

Type in their ideas.

Incubate the problem


Give participants some time to think about the problem. Initial reactions can often change after some incubation time.

Type in their feedback.

Brief the team


Brief the team on:

1. The objective for this session
2. The time constraints
3. The scenario
4. The contingency plan
5. The process that you will be following, and the rules at each stage.

Contingency plan

Add an action to the contingency plan. Identify the results that the contingency plan will lead to.


Add a team member for this brainstorming session.


Add a line describing the scenario

Some of your participants may already understand it, and some may not. Both positions are useful.

Explain the special features of the situation that need inventive ideas. Challenge your participants.

Time constraints
Time allowed

Time allowance

How many sessions will there be and how much time do you allow per session?


State a specific objective for your session. Make sure your objective includes follow-through and actions.

Common objectives include: