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What is Starbursting?
Starbursting refers to a structured approach that is used by team members to generate lots of new ideas for a specific new product, service or project. It is a vital technique that helps to stir creative juices, explore and understand all the related points and gain better clarity on purpose, vision and process.
Starbursting is a form of brainstorming session that focuses on generating questions rather than answering the questions. The point of the star for the group is using a set of questions as a tool to generate new ideas through these systematic interactions.
How to use Starbursting?
When you are looking at unknowns, for instance, a new service or a product or a new idea then this form of starbursting brainstorming sessions often proves a blessing. It helps to create a set of questions that are written on a large sheet of paper so that the group can go through all the aspects and understand the basic concept. Starbursting technique is a simple concept that is easy to use by taking the following steps in a systematic way.
Take a large sheet of paper, or a whiteboard or a flip chart and draw a six-pointed star. It is also possible to download the starbursting template from a reputed online site. In the middle of this six-pointed star write the name of your project, service, new product or new idea.
At each point of the star write the following categories or main question group. These are
These questions will be discussed in the brainstorming sessions by the team members to generate questions and new ideas.
This is one of the most important steps in the starbursting form of brainstorming. This is the time of asking yourself what are the questions for the starbursting technique and writing them down without thinking about answers. Start with each of the words written on the point of the star and think of as many questions as possible so that you have a comprehensive list of questions at the end of the brainstorming session.
This is the step where the team members can answer the questions and explore new ideas. This starbursting step will help to clarify doubts and build a solid vision. Teams can conduct further brainstorming sessions to dig deep and gain better clarity.
Example of Starbursting
The starbursting form of brainstorming can be explained easily with the help of an example. Suppose a company is intending to launch a new product in the market. It will then have to follow the four steps of the brainstorming session discussed above.
Then the session will include many questions like
- Who will use the product?
- Who will work in the project?
- Who will market the product?
- Who are the main rival brands?
- What should be the name of the product?
- What will the product cost?
- What raw materials will the product need?
- What price of the product will prove ideal?
- When will be the product launched?
- When will it be developed?
- When can the company start with marketing?
- Where will the product find the right target audience?
- Where will the finance come from?
- Where can the company produce the product?
- Why will people buy the product?
- Why will the market favour this product against the rival products?
- How will the company promote the product?
- How will the product help the business?
- How will the company get feedback?
The last step of the session will help the group to find answers and fulfil the purpose of the session
Pros and Cons
Starbursting has become an important tool for organizations that encourage healthy debate and discussion in their team. Even earlier companies used to have brainstorming sessions but they were not as useful as the starbursting sessions. An important reason for it is that this system operates on a comprehensive and systematic manner. It is a focused approach where the steps are predefined and pre-decided during asking questions. The tool operates as a guiding force and nudges the group to take the steps one by one in the given format. There is no space for mismanagement or straying out of the focus. This proves advantageous if a team is in charge of a critical project. The methodology proves a blessing in finding new ideas. As all the steps are already in place the brainstorming method is not as time-consuming as the others.
If you are looking at the cons of starbursting then the major limitation of this approach is that the method puts the focus on asking questions rather than the answers. There is no guide in place that will tell the group about how to find the answers to the all-important questions. The advantage of starbursting becomes its disadvantage as the members are unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion. In some cases, the answers move in the wrong direction or they may also be biased because of the lack of a proper system. Another disadvantage of starbursting sessions is that the idea cannot be used for planning as you do not have the right answers for clarity.
How Does Starbursting Help Different Organizations?
No organization can succeed with any new concept if the members of the organization hold doubts about it, and information known to them is not clear.
Hence, it is essential to reveal as much information as you can about the concept and clear their doubts. The best way to clear one’s doubt is to entertain their questions.
Whenever a product/concept is designed, it is recommended to conduct a starbursting session so that everyone associated with that can raise their questions which are
- What is the product about?
- Who will be the potential customer?
- What is the target geographical region?
- How to tackle competitors?
- When will the product be launched?
- How will we handle the post-launch processes?
- What will be our benefit?
- How will we be conducting the research process?
These questions are directly linked to the curiosity of your team regarding the new product or concept. Once you prepare satisfactory answers to these questions, it is evident that your team’s doubts associated with the product/concept will be cleared.
Moreover, conducting starbursting sessions help later when the team is working on the product/concept. Once the team holds no doubts, they can work on the concept with pure efficiency, and the chances of any blunder are quite the least.
So, starbursting is directly linked to your team’s efficiency.
Once you allow your team to raise questions, they think differently and more efficiently, which isn’t possible otherwise.
It is always beneficial when your team doesn’t raise questions when it is the prime time to work on your product/concept. Hence, the importance of starbursting can’t be ignored and should be entertained by organizations of any scale.
Along with these advantages mentioned above of starbursting, there are some disadvantages as well, so let us have a look at those as well.
Starbursting is a vital method for problem-solving and decision-making at a later stage as it
- Focuses on generating questions in a systematic way while understanding all aspects of the project
- Looks at all the available options in the design template
- Generates and evaluates all the ideas and finds possible answers
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