Great ideas don’t always come to you in the shower, or while you’re relaxing in bed.

Product Development Brainstorming Tips

But by fine-tuning your brainstorming techniques, you can actively develop great ideas instead of sitting around waiting them to come. Here are three tips and tricks that will take your product brainstorming sessions to the next level.

1. Mix things up

What’s the key to developing fresh ideas? Spending time around “fresh” people. You might be tempted to invite the same people to brainstorming session after brainstorming session, but don’t. “Rather than surrounding yourself with the same people at every session, invite employees from other parts of your company to join in,” explains Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson. “You just might find that employees elsewhere in your business have great ideas. Someone on your accounts team might have a suggestion that leads to an unusual and creative marketing strategy, or one of your administrators might point out a recent change that helps the team come up with a new sales pitch.”

2. Be fluid and be flexible

The more ideas there are, the better. So, how can you juice as many different ideas possible out of one brainstorming session? The key is to rapidly fire ideas, then go back and build on the ideas that appear to be most solid and approach them from different angles. “We go for two things in a brainstorm: fluency and flexibility,” explains Tom Kelley, creativity expert and the author of The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from Ideo, America’s Leading Design Firm. “Fluency is a very rapid flow of ideas, so there’s never more than a moment of silence. Flexibility is approaching the same idea from different viewpoints.”

3. Always number your ideas

Don’t just jot things down– number them! It helps you keep your thoughts and ideas organized. “This rule seems counterintuitive — the opposite of creativity,” Kelley says. “But numbered lists create goals to motivate participants. You can say, ‘Let’s try to get to 100 ideas.’ Also, lists provide a reference point if you want to jump back and forth between ideas.” Numbers, numbers, numbers—it makes a difference.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.