This technique guides a group in an interactive exchange of ideas, deferring judgement until the end of the session. It is a good way to quickly generate many

diverse ideas. This technique is particularly effective when participants feel “free” to offer their ideas without fear of criticism.


Used alone or as a means of enhancing the effectiveness of almost any other hazard analysis technique.


Encourage active participation of all group members.

Develop a high-energy, enthusiastic climate.

Do not criticize or compliment ideas as they are presented.

Encourage creative thinking, including out of the box ideas.

Build and expand on the ideas of others.

Avoid stopping when the ideas slow down; try to generate as long a list as possible within the allotted time.


A brainstorming session may be structured (each group member presents an idea in turn) or unstructured ( the facilitator accepts random inputs form the

group). Structured brainstorming ensures participation by all group members. Unstructured brainstorming may be dominated by one of more group


To conduct a brainstorming session:

1. Review the guidelines for brainstorming.

2. Clearly state the question and the time limit (15-60 minutes).

3. Members take turns calling out ideas. (For structured brainstorming, this is done in order. Members pass when an idea does not come to mind quickly, but may contribute on the next round).

4. Record each idea exactly as presented on a flipchart/board/post-it note, visible to all group members.

5. After all ideas have been presented, discus the ideas to ensure that all member have the same understanding of each idea. Eliminate duplications or out of context suggestions.