Ideas Wall [S]

An Ideas Wall focuses a group on generating and prioritising ideas/options.

Step by Step Approach:

  • Step 1: Determine a Focus Question – it is important to pick the right question. 
  • Step 2: Organise the Group - get a group of people together for an hour, ideally from different backgrounds so that you get a range of different views and ideas.
  • Step 3: Gather Opinions - ask people to brainstorm as many ideas/responses to the focus question as they can think of. Put each idea on an individual post-it.
  • Step 4: Put Ideas on the Wall – put ideas up on the wall (random order) and ask people to read others contributions. If they think of something that is missing, they jot it down and add it.
  • Step 5: Group Similar Items - participants group similar/related items together - without any discussion about content. This step is complete when all the items are moved into groups.
  • Step 6: Naming Each Group - ask everyone to assign a name to each group. This forces everyone to review everything on the wall once again.
  • Step 7: Voting for the Most Important Groups - each participant marks the three groups that they feel are most important on the sheets – using three XXXs for their top choice/most important, two XXs for their second and one X for their third/least important.
  • Step 8: Ranking the Most Important Groups - order the sheets by the number of votes received, from highest to lowest. Consider whether any groups should be combined and, after a brief discussion, take a final vote. The vote needs to be unanimous if items and their scores (which might move them higher up the list) are to be combined. 

The facilitator can the review the top three or four ranked items – these are the top priorities for the focus question.