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Two things must remain constant for every brainstorming session: a process and a goal. The goal may be defeated if the process is incorrect and ineffective. Remote brainstorming involves a team or group of persons generating ideas or solutions toward a destination only when such persons are within a different geographic location at a particular time. Many agile teams require frequent brainstorming, especially where such a team is also an IT outsourcing team. In many instances, the brainstorming processes may be stilted and ineffective where it is not physical. However, remote brainstorming for groups is inevitable today, so we have curated this article to help you navigate the waters of effective remote brainstorming.
Many IT outsourcing firms and agile teams cannot help but have remote brainstorming sessions. The reason for this is simple: these teams source highly qualified professionals from several locations worldwide, and in many instances, these geographical differences restrict the possibility of physical meetings. Fortunately, rapid technological developments have allowed agile teams to organize brainstorming sessions quite easily. The question now is: how practical are remote brainstorming sessions?
The problem is not the process of brainstorming - that is, the virtual or remote characteristic of brainstorming. Instead, it is in the way these sessions are organized and carried out. A remote brainstorming session, if done the right way, can be more effective than a physical brainstorming session. As such, remote brainstorming sessions are as practical as any other. The session below offers invaluable tips on making brainstorming sessions - particularly for IT outsourcing firms and teams.
Brainstorming 101 tells us that having clearly defined objectives and goals outlined before the brainstorming session begins is a one-way train to a practical brainstorming session - this remains true for agile teams. Before commencing a brainstorming session, always have a specific problem or goal to resolve and achieve. You can also take it up a notch by outlining the likely processes involved and the direction in which the session is headed. Of course, this information must be communicated to the agile team beforehand to give them enough time for preparations.
Brainstorming sessions are hardly a time to do any beating around the bush. A session is only considered adequate when the objectives are achieved within the specified time - or less. Being direct and throwing the floor open for timely contributions is essential. Specificity and directness can best be done by effective facilitation of the session. Many IT outsourcing firms have skilled facilitators to coordinate team input and encourage participation in a safe space. Another tip for a practical session is to consider all reasonable ideas proffered by the IT team such that everyone feels safe enough to voice their opinions.
IT team augmentation for effective brainstorming will often involve trick or treating. In this case, trick would mean using strategic engagement tools to get employees to participate in the brainstorming processes. Such devices can include mind or session mapping or nominal group techniques. Where the trick works, and there are visible and positive outcomes showing that the session has been practical, you can treat by offering comments and constructive criticisms and rewarding the team with the most effective idea(s).
There are more than 30 different tools to make remote brainstorming sessions - especially for agile teams - effective, and it will be brilliant for team productivity to leverage those tools. While video conferencing tools are one way to ensure communication, other indispensable tools include board tools for documenting ideas and keeping track of the session’s objectives, project management tools for tracking the views and assigning tasks per head, and mapping software, other software for visual management and collaborations, and so much more. If you can leverage it, you will be surprised at how technology can make all the difference in your remote brainstorming sessions. A brief search of the internet can provide almost 50 technological tools, paid and unpaid, available at your disposal. In YouDigital, we support many businesses to navigate their software journey and needs through our remote experienced teams, with skill sets from across the globe.
Nothing beats taking feedback and comments from your agile team. They are the participants at the heart of these sessions and may be in the best position to suggest recommendations based on their experiences during the session. Leveraging employee feedback creates opinion valuation within the team and encourages bonding and importance, improving productivity and effectiveness.
The list above is not exhaustive, but we have curated several crucial tips to achieve the utmost effectiveness in conducting your remote brainstorming sessions. With a little more research here and there, you will see your brainstorming sessions and employee productivity boost significantly.
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