List of brainstorm techniques for product managers

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Here are some effective brainstorming techniques that product managers can use to generate new ideas and solutions:

Brainstorming Techniques for Product Managers

1. Mind Mapping

Mind mapping involves visually representing ideas and concepts around a central topic. Start with the main problem or goal in the center, then branch out with related ideas and sub-topics. This technique helps see connections and spark new thoughts.

2. Reverse Brainstorming

Instead of generating ideas for a desired outcome, reverse brainstorming has the team come up with reasons why a product or feature can't work or ways to create a bad user experience. This different perspective can reveal blindspots and lead to innovative solutions.

3. Brainwriting

In brainwriting, participants write down ideas individually on notecards or a shared document. Then they pass their ideas to others who build upon them. This allows all voices to be heard without interruption.

4. SCAMPER

SCAMPER is an acronym for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. Asking these questions about existing products or processes sparks creativity to improve them.

5. Starbursting

Starbursting involves writing a topic in the center and having spokes come out with questions like who, what, where, when, why, and how related to that topic. Answering those questions generates new ideas.

6. Question Brainstorming

Instead of generating solutions, the team brainstorms as many questions as possible about the problem or opportunity. Exploring the questions leads to deeper understanding and better ideas.

7. Worst Idea Brainstorming

Ask the team to come up with the worst, most impractical ideas related to the topic. This removes inhibitions and pressure, allowing creative ideas to emerge from the silly ones. The key for product managers is facilitating these techniques properly, setting the right constraints, and synthesizing the output into actionable next steps aligned with product strategy.
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