Brainstorming is one of the simplest and commonly used risk identification techniques.

brain2It is mainly conducted as a group activity to identify a large number of risks by listing as many ideas as possible. You can give this approach some structure by linking and branching off of different ideas. By conducting Brainstorming techniques in groups, it is believed that employees build on each other’s ideas and identify the maximum amount of risks possible, producing far more than they would as individuals.

In order to maximise efficiency you should consider the following characteristics whilst conducting a brainstorming task.


  1. Focus on quantity, not quality – No matter how insignificant the idea, listing it down can only maximise the risk identification list.
  2. Withhold criticisms – Continues with this idea to maximise the risk identification list through recording ideas regardless of how inadequate they are. There is also the motivational factor that staff will not be ‘put down’ from weak ideas.
  3. Welcome abnormal ideas – This provides a new and innovative vision of identifying risk that may have not been previously considered.

It may be worthwhile to appoint a note taker whom can list all ideas discussed during the brainstorming task. It would also be beneficial to hand out relevant documentation prior to the meeting to ensure all staff are efficiently prepared on topics to be discussed. A well prepared team can only help our brainstorming task!

Here is an example of the brainstorm risk identification technique for a firm conducting supply chain risk management.