Method – Brainstorm session

Description

A brainstorm session is a method to collect information on stakeholders in order to identify them through a group discussion. With this method a pre-determined topic can be discussed in-depth and information on the stakeholders perspectives and interests can be collected. It is a way to reach a good understanding of the stakeholders views1)Reed, M.S., Graves, A., Dandy, N., Posthumus, H., Hubacek, K., Morris, J., Prell, C., Quinn, C.H. and Stringer, L.C. (2009) Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management, Journal of Environmental Management 90, 1933-19492)Hermans LM, 2005, Actor Analysis for Water Resources Management, putting the promise into practice, ISBN 90-5972-091-1, Eburon, 2005.

Strengths

  • Efficient in use of time and budget
  • Possible to reach group consensus over stakeholder categories
  • Particularly useful for generating data on complex issues that require discussion to develop understanding

Weaknesses

  • A skilled facilitator is required to guide and stimulate a good discussion with the participants. This is needed to collect the range of different views from the various people in the group.
  • This method is less structured than other available methods.

Use in decision framework

Stakeholder analysis

Input

  • preperation is needed: decide on topics of the brainstorm session, who to invite, goal of the brainstorm session, etc.
  • organisation of brainstorm session: the location and room for the brainstorm session is of importance, food and drinks, facilitation materials, etc.
  • an experienced facilitator is needed

Outline

  • Adequate preparation is needed:
    • decide on issue to discuss in the group, who to invite and how to stimulate discussion.
    • A skilled facilitator is needed for the brainstorm session
    • A room with facilitation materials is needed (e.g. flip-chart)
  • Brainstorm session to be held. An experienced facilitator guides the session, with room for flexibility to adapt when necessary.
  • During the brainstorm session the facilitator can summarize live the discussion on a flipchart in order to structure the collected information on the different stakeholders perspectives and interests, and issues discussed.
  • A stakeholder identification can be made based on the collected information during the brainstorm session.

Output

Collect information on stakeholders interest and perspectives to be able to identify stakeholders.

Experiences

For an example see: http://businessanalystlearnings.com/ba-techniques/2014/1/15/10-tips-for-organizing-focus-groups

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Reed, M.S., Graves, A., Dandy, N., Posthumus, H., Hubacek, K., Morris, J., Prell, C., Quinn, C.H. and Stringer, L.C. (2009) Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management, Journal of Environmental Management 90, 1933-1949
2. Hermans LM, 2005, Actor Analysis for Water Resources Management, putting the promise into practice, ISBN 90-5972-091-1, Eburon, 2005