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Sometimes we find that it is way more challenging to reach a conclusion or a proper. It may require expertise about the topic, experience in the field you are working in. But, hardly we can say, a person has all these qualities.

It became a prevalent problem in itself. Everybody who was facing  problems when working needed a solution to overcome such difficulties to work alone on such issues.

This problem gave birth to the concept of ‘Brainstorming’. It is a method of solving problems or creating better designs by gathering multiple ideas from various persons. 

It may help find more appropriate solutions to the problems as it includes expertise, experience and knowledge of more than one person. 

So let’s learn Charette Procedure to brainstorm ideas

WHAT’S IN IT

  1. Evolution of Brainstorming 
  2. Charette Procedure
  3. Role of Stakeholders in Brainstorming
  4. When to follow the procedure?
  5. How to run the procedure?
  6. Advantages of brainstorming
  7. Disadvantages of brainstorming
  8. Conclusion
  9. FAQ’s

Evolution of Brainstorming  & Charette Procedure

In 1939, a well known American author, advertising executive and the co-founder of BBDO(a worldwide advertising agency), ‘Alex F. Osborn’ innovated the concept of Brainstorming. 

image of BBDO logo

To overcome the problem of employees’ inability to develop creative ideas working individually for ad campaigns. 

Meanwhile, he started organising group discussions and gathering meetings to seek a solution to different problems altogether.

As a result, he got more qualitative and quantitative ideas. 

He first termed the process as “Organized Ideation”, but later they changed the process name to “Brainstorming Sessions”.

Also, Osborn started writing on creative thinking, and the first book he published was “How To Think Up” in 1942.

Charette Procedure

Brainstorming has many sub-techniques, such as round-robin,wildest-idea, double reversal, starbursting, and The Charette Procedure.

The earlier concept of brainstorming was limited up to simple problems only. Many issues arose when large numbers of people represented their multiple ideas relating to a single question. 

Due to the discussions made by many people, the problems and the solutions or ideas got so complex. Hence, it was limited to a specific number of people and too simple issues only.

It gave rise to “The Charette Procedure”. This process is a developed technique of brainstorming, which deals with more complex problems.

This process helps conduct a brainstorming session when dealing with multiple people’s ideas by subdividing them into small groups. Thus, it resulted in more effective solutions and ideas. 

So, The word charette is derived from the French term “cart” or “chariot”. The architecture students in École des Beaux-Arts in Paris circulated a charette to collect their projects, scale models and other works for review.

The furious continuation of their work to apply the finishing touches came to refer to as working in the charrette, “in the cart.

Role of Stakeholders in Brainstorming

The “Stakeholders” are the individuals or the group of persons having any kind of interest in or a connection to a project or a firm, company, etc.

For example, in a body corporate, the stakeholders may include creditors, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources. 

So, Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organisation’s actions, objectives and policies. Talking about brainstorming the different matters and addressing the problems in an organisation, other stakeholders are involved at different levels.

image of a man brainstorming

For example, managerial level employees in the organisation are involving in brainstorming matters relating to departmental level decisions in the short term.

In contrast, Directors are engaging in significant and high-level decisions that affect the organisation’s overall performance and influence them. 

Also, the owners(shareholders in the company) are the primary decision-makers involve in brainstorming long term decisions.    

When to Follow The Procedure?

Some of the problems in a body corporate are to face with all the stakeholders’ opinion. Also, in the case where some critical decisions require the suggestions or opinion of the stakeholders, a session concerning these problems has to conduct.   

Follow the procedure when:

  • Multiple ideas are required to be designed
  • Opinions needed from various stakeholders
  • Complex problems are to be discussed
  • A lot of work to be done in a limited time

How to run the procedure?

The procedure is where multiple topics get discussion by different groups of stakeholders. Hence, you may deal with numerous problems or ideas in a specific period, including a large number of people. 

The procedure would be easier than before when you appoint someone as the ‘Recorder’. In short, he is a chairman who divides the number of people in the group into subgroups, differentiates the topics and allocates them into these different groups.

Also, organises the session, conducts the session as per the procedures require to be undertaken. 

So, He also has to maintain the documentation of the sub-sessions conducted within the subgroups. He also performs these documents throughout all the groups.

Steps regarding the procedure:

  1. The matter to which the sessions are to address is to be decided first. So, these topics divide into sub-topics to allocate to different groups. 
  1. The persons’ group shall divide into different subgroups divided according to their number or kind of stake in the firm or company.
image of groups
  1. Each of these subgroups has to choose their topic to discuss with and for their brainstorming session. If the number of groups is larger than the number of issues, then two subgroups may decide on the same topic but have to brainstorm on such a topic separately. 
  1. Each subgroup starts discussing the matter they have chosen to brainstorm with, and the recorder starts maintaining the records about the discussion. Hence, It collects all the ideas of different subgroups separately. 
  1. Basically, the recorder collects the ideas from one group and circulates them through other subgroups for getting mix ideas and better solutions in all. New ideas may generate on these ideas collected by the recorder through the documents.

So, the recorder repeats the same process and circulates every idea through all subgroups, and they discuss the same and think it over, use the same in brainstorming sessions.

  1. Also, at the end of the discussion by all the subgroups, they have to assess the data prioritised by the importance of matters and the significance of ideas.
  1. The recorder now collects all the finalised ideas from all the subgroups and summarises the arguments for better output and overall understanding of the discussion.
  1. Finally, each group gathers to discuss the group discussion’s final results, discussed as per the priority. The result of such a meeting may be the following action plan.   

Advantages of Brainstorming

Promotes creative thinking:

Brainstorming challenges you to become more creative. By sitting down with your co-workers, you have to think critically and imaginatively and develop ideas that make you stand out.

You can also take concepts and opinions that other people bring to the table and build on them to develop great solutions.

Discovering new perspectives: 

Brainstorming gives a vision and perspective where these elements may not have existed before. It encourages free speech and creativity, helping to reveal new ideas and solutions.

Defining problems: 

Basically, Spontaneous thinking in a low-pressure environment can often help determine a question to the point where new alternative solutions start to appear.

Equal participation:

Brainstorming helps avoid conflict and give everybody a chance to air their views without immediate evaluation or judgment.

So, In a brainstorming session, everybody should have an equal opportunity to participate in the discussions.

Exciting and straightforward:

The concept of brainstorming itself is not a hard thing to comprehend. You simply start with a problem or a situation, and then you merely map out any ideas that lead to the mind as a solution.

The very nature of the group structure can often make it a fun and exciting process.

Disadvantages of brainstorming

Facilitator required: 

Basically, Brainstorming requires a leader or facilitator who will control the sessions and ensure it reaches satisfactory conclusions. 

Promotes fights and arguments: 

Many believe that brainstorming only leads to criticism since people usually judge others’ ideas and statements. It can lead to great ideas, but this doesn’t always mean that they come from peaceful discussions. 

Not consistently practical:

 Basically, Brainstorming is dependent on several factors like communication skills, correct technique, etc. It becomes ineffective if one of these factors is not present.

Time-consuming:

Although, Brainstorming can take time. It could be hours or even days before a solution is reached. 

Conclusion

The Charette Procedure is a branch of Brainstorming, which has been innovating for overcoming the limitations of simple Brainstorming. The process is generally for addressing complex problems successfully to the best results or solutions.

This process is beneficial when discussing multiple topics and involving different people in such a discussion in a limited period. It helps to overcome the problems faced by simple brainstorming techniques. 

Also, read our blog on How to use Cause and Effect Analysis to Easily Solve any Problem

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