Brainstorming can be used as a method for task decomposition. In the broader sense, it is a process for generating ideas and solutions to a problem through proactive and freewheeling group discussions. In case of task decomposition, through brainstorming it is easier to answer such questions as "What task to decompose?", "Why decompose this task?" and "How to decompose it?".
Brainstorming makes it easier for various groups to plan and decompose their tasks and activities into smaller pieces of work or sub-tasks. The method involves team members in intensive group discussions and allows them to design the best options and levels of task breakdown. The method is effective because it enables teams to use their creative thinking to generate and sort out as many decomposition options as possible and then select the best one.
Here’s a series of steps a group can take to decompose a broad task into sub-tasks through brainstorming sessions:
- Assemble a brainstorming team that consists of people who have broad experience and expertise in task decomposition issues
- Create a concise problem statement that explains a broad task or activity to be decomposed
- Share the problem statement with members of the brainstorming team and be sure they understand it clearly
- Establish rules for your brainstorming sessions; for example: all ideas are recorded; there’s no bad idea; every participant should provide al least 5 ideas; quality is more important than quantity, etc.
- Initiate brainstorming and involve the team in idea generation
- Record every idea given and create an idea matrix
- Ask your team to vote for every idea
- Determine the best idea(s) that has received the greatest number of votes
- Follow the best idea to create hierarchical decomposition for your main task or activity.