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      Brainstorming Under Constraints: Why Software Developers Brainstorm in Groups

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      Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction

      4 - 8 July 2011

      Brainstorming, Idea Generation, Creativity, Problem-solving, Decision-making

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          Abstract

          Group brainstorming is widely adopted as a design method in the domain of software development. However, existing brainstorming literature has consistently proven group brainstorming to be ineffective under the controlled laboratory settings. Yet, electronic brainstorming systems informed by the results of these prior laboratory studies have failed to gain adoption in the field because of the lack of support for group well-being and member support. Therefore, there is a need to better understand brainstorming in the field. In this work, we seek to understand why and how brainstorming is actually practiced, rather than how brainstorming practices deviate from formal brainstorming rules, by observing brainstorming meetings at Microsoft. The results of this work show that, contrary to the conventional brainstorming practices, software teams at Microsoft engage heavily in the constraint discovery process in their brainstorming meetings. We identified two types of constraints that occur in brainstorming meetings. Functional constraints are requirements and criteria that define the idea space, whereas practical constraints are limitations that prioritize the proposed solutions.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Brainstorming Groups in Context: Effectiveness in a Product Design Firm

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            Productivity is not enough: A comparison of interactive and nominal brainstorming groups on idea generation and selection

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              Electronic Brainstorming: The Illusion of Productivity

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                July 2011
                July 2011
                : 74-83
                Affiliations
                Department of Informatics

                University of California, Irvine

                Irvine, CA 92697-3440 USA
                Microsoft Research

                One Microsoft Way

                Redmond, WA, 98052 USA
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/HCI2011.30
                © Patrick C. Shih et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
                HCI
                25
                Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
                4 - 8 July 2011
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Human Computer Interaction
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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