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Home » Methods » 6-3-5 Brainwriting

6-3-5 Brainwriting

Different technical languages
1 project manager & min. 20 citizens
Training over several weeks
  • Digital whiteboard: Miro or Mural OR shared document (e.g., MS Teams)
  • Video conferencing: Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.
Best Practices

Explanation of the method

  1. For the implementation of this method, each participants gets assigned their working space on the digital whiteboard or a shared document by the project leader. This person is responsible for the organization and time management and will not be involved in the brainwriting.
  2. The project leader names a previously defined question or a set of topics on which ideas are to be collected. At the beginning, the question is discussed. Only questions of understanding are allowed, solutions are not to be discussed yet.
  3. The 6-3-5 method follows the principle of its name: 6 rounds, 3 ideas, 5 minutes. Start with the first round: Within five minutes, each participant writes three ideas on the given question or topic on the digital whiteboard. Communicating with the other participants is not allowed during the process.
  4. After five minutes, each group member moves to the working space of the person next to them. Now the participant develops the ideas of the neighboring participant further, thinking about his/her own ideas/perspectives, but also elaborating on the ideas of the other participants. This process is usually repeated for six rounds until each participant is back at their starting position. If there are more or fewer of you, the number of rounds will be adjusted accordingly.
  5. There are often similar ideas that are described by people from different disciplines in different jargon. Now write these ideas in a common language so that they are understood by all participants.
  6. At the end of the brainwriting session, there are many ideas. Discuss them in the group and prioritize the ideas. In the further course of the project, focus on the ideas and approaches that were ranked highest by all participants.


  • Brainwriting is very efficient. With six participants, a great number of ideas are generated within a few minutes.
  • Influenced thinking through hierarchical structures is largely avoided within the team.
  • The method is very simple and every person, no matter if introvert or extrovert, is able to contribute.
  • The creative process within the team is triggered by the fact that new input is given in each round, on which future ideas can be built.


  • There can occur a repetition of already existing ideas instead of new ideas being generated.
  • The quickly changing rounds can overwhelm some participants, so that creativity is slowed down.

Advice from practice

  • Categorize the ideas into the corresponding main topics. This will give you a holistic overview of which ideas were mentioned to which topic.
  • Afterwards, use sticky dots for clustering, which the participants stick on the ideas that they prioritize the most. This will give you an immediate list of your priorities and allow you to address the issues/ideas that are most important to your team first.
  • Reflect on the different names of the topics or ideas. This will give you an idea of the language used by the different disciplines to express a topic. Consequently, this will improve your mutual understanding.
Please note that the tools and methods were created as of August 2024 and all Miro Boards are editable.
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