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What is it?

Directed brainstorming is a facilitator led process whereby only 1 idea is considered by the group at any one time.

This is especially useful when the constraints are well defined and you want to capture everyone’s opinion on 1 idea at a time. This format helps to intentionally constrain the ideation process.

Where there are known variables, the ability to direct the group through a series of thought processes means that quality of decision making is enhanced and that there is greater depth given to each notion.

Pros and Cons

Whilst this is a linear approach, the advantage is that it allows the entire room to be focused on one key issue at a time. The disadvantage is that it potentially reduces the number of creative ideas and is more time consuming. Using an online brainstorming tool allows you to see the results in real time whilst keeping everyone engaged.

The Set Up

GroupMap allows you to set up the map so that only the map owner can input ideas from the group. Unless pinned, participants can then like or dislike suggested ideas from their map, move ideas accordingly, comment and rate the idea.

In settings, change it so that only the map owner can add ideas.

The Process

1. Participants verbalise ideas.

2. Map owner enters the idea onto the map (pinned or unpinned).

3. Group discusses, adds comments and builds on ideas.

4. Group vote/rank to determine the top ideas.

5. Group considers action/implementation steps.


Facilitator wants to determine what new project to initiate. They set up an effort versus impact matrix which only allows them to enter in project ideas.

A member from the team calls out and pitches a potential project which the facilitator adds to the map. This is then suggested out to participants who can add a thumbs up (like) or thumbs down (dislike). They can add comments and the facilitator can also capture comments from the floor. Individuals can also rank them according to the level of impact and perceived level of effort.

This process is repeated until the group feels like there are sufficient project ideas and all ideas are ranked.

The group reviews the results and where each project is placed, reviewing the spread and relative correlation of each idea via the reports.

Based on the time, budget and desire of participants in the room, the group votes on the top 3 projects to take forward for further consideration.

The results are captured instantly in a report and the “winning projects” are taken forward into the next discussion.

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