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Background: Follows the principle of free association and is a problem-oriented and moderated discussion with five to eight participants. The different background or specialization of the participants is an advantage.

Goal: With this method, many new ideas on a concrete question should be developed within a group.

Approach: The process runs in three phases. In the preparation phase, a thematic introduction and explanation of the basic principles is given. In the following main phase ideas are generated and recorded. In the follow-up phase, the ideas are discussed and, if possible, developed further by the other participants in chains of association. Basic principles: it is important to strictly separate idea generation and idea evaluation. During the idea generation process, feasibility considerations, for example, are obstructive. Instead, the positive aspects of the idea should be developed and discussed. The aim of the work is to develop many ideas in a short time, assuming that there is a useful one among the multitude.

Advantage: Many ideas in a short time, mutual stimulation, well combinable with other methods.

Disadvantage: Subjectivity of the proposals, high follow-up effort, low complexity of the proposals, further link: