6-3-5 Brainwriting is a Brainstorming method that generates 108 different ideas or views for any topic within 30 minutes.
This is how 6-3-5 works:
1) Choose your brainstorming topic/question
2) Prepare the sheets with the topic/question and a table of 6 rows and 3 columns (see image below)
3) Make a short introduction/warm-up with the team to introduce he topic/question
4) Hand out the sheets, then explain to the team what to do:
- Think of 3 ideas that are coming to your mind when thinking about the topic/question.
- Write each idea in one of the three table cells of the first row.
- The time-box is 5 minutes .
- As this is a brainstorming there are no wrong ideas, answers or views: think of anything and don’t let yourself be restricted by any current limiting factors.
5) After the first 5 minutes explain to the team what to do:
- Please pass your ideas to the left person next to you.
- Please read the 3 ideas on the sheet that was handed to you.
- You can now either refine those ideas or write new ideas in the next row, again limit yourself to 3 ideas.
- Single rule: It is not allowed to repeat ideas that you have already added or that are already on the sheet.
6) Repeat 5) until all six rows are filled in.
7) To weight the ideas the team should now dot all ideas:
Every team member gets 3 dots for every sheet (for instance: 6 sheets = 18 dots) and can place the dots near the idea they think are the best. Rule: Stick max. 3 dots per sheet. You can either do this by pinning all sheets against a wall or passing the sheets around (with a 1 minute time-box per sheet).
As a result you will have 108 (6 rows x 3 ideas x 6 sheets) ideas that have already been weighted by the team. Of course, there will be duplicate ideas, but only some. With a team of six this will only take approx. 45 minutes (generating ideas PLUS weighting). The gathered data could then be clustered in a next meeting…
6-3-5 Brainwriting is great because:
- you get a lot of different ideas within a short period of time
- by writing: everyone’s ideas are “heard” (not only the ideas of the “loudest”)
- by reading: everyone’s ideas are exchanged and maybe even refined
- by weighting you normally get a tendency what to do next with the gathered data
Last week I tried 6-3-5 even in a beer garden and even there it worked perfectly!