The following rules are important to brainstorming successfully:
A leader should take control of the session, initially defining the problem to be solved with any criteria that must be met, and then keeping the session on course. He or she should encourage an enthusiastic, uncritical attitude among brainstormers and encourage participation by all members of the team. The session should be announced as lasting a fixed length of time, and the leader should ensure that no train of thought is followed for too long. The leader should try to keep the brainstorming on subject, and should try to steer it towards the development of some practical solutions.
Participants in the brainstorming process should come from as wide a range of disciplines with as broad a range of experience as possible. This brings many more creative ideas to the session.
Brainstormers should be encouraged to have fun brainstorming, coming up with as many ideas as possible, from solidly practical ones to wildly impractical ones in an environment where creativity is welcomed.
Ideas must not be criticised or evaluated during the brainstorming session. Criticism introduces an element of risk for a group member in putting forward an idea. This stifles creativity and cripples the free running nature of a good brainstorming session.
Brainstormers should not only come up with new ideas in a brainstorming session, but should also 'spark off' from associations with other people's ideas and develop other peoples ideas.
A record should be kept of the session either as notes or a tape recording. This should be studied subsequently for evaluation. It can also be helpful to jot down ideas on a board which can be seen by all brainstormers.