Every business starts with an idea. Many successful businesses start with a unique twist on those ideas. If you’re a manager (or working for one), then you know how important ideas are to projects. Many individuals are quick to go into idea brainstorm mode. However, not all brainstorming sessions are fruitful.

Starbursting is a type of brainstorming that uses an unconventional approach. Read on to see what it entails, its benefits and how you can apply it to your organization.


  1. What Is Starbursting?

  2. How To Apply The Starbursting Technique

  3. Is The Starbursting Technique Useful?

What Is Starbursting?

Brainstorming is a free-flowing group creativity method that allows individuals to find a solution to a specific problem. Starbursting is a twist on the brainstorming process, which encourages people in a group to ask questions instead of coming up with possible solutions. The Starbursting brainstorming process is a simple one, which uses the questions to help you systematically think through different aspects of a project.

Starbursting is based on six questions arranged in the shape of a star. The people involved need to answer: who, what, how, where, when and why. While the whole team discusses each question, some questions are assigned to different sub-groups. Therefore, by systematizing the question-asking process, you gather cues that help you think of important questions and aspects of a project.

A simple example of the Starbursting technique will be the launch of a new product in the market. You and your team can approach the project by asking the following questions:

  • Who will lead the various phases of the product launch?

  • What is the target market segment?

  • How will we sell and market the product?

  • Where do we allocate the majority of our efforts and resources?

  • When is the appropriate launch date?

  • Why will people be interested in our product?

To ensure a successful implementation of the Starbursting method, make sure that you maintain the systematic flow of questions, take questions only relevant to the topic and check if all questions are answered.

How To Apply The Starbursting Technique

As we’ve already established, Starbursting is a systematic process. To apply the method, here is a step-by-step guide to pursuing your business ideas to fruition.

Step 1

While several Starbursting brainstorming templates are readily available online, you can create your very own structure by using a large sheet of paper and drawing a six-point star. You can write down your idea or project name at the center of the star.

Step 2

At each pointed end of the star, write down the six main questions. These will act as your question groups where you can ask multiple questions under each ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘how’ and so on.

Step 3

This is the most crucial step as you start to brainstorm. For each question group, write down the individual questions on the related star point. Don’t jump to answering the questions as soon as you write them. Make sure you solely focus on brainstorming and writing as many questions as possible. For example, if you’re working on a project, the questions on your Starbursting diagram will look something like this:

  1. Who

  • Who will work on this project?

  • Who are our competitors?

  • Who will be our end users?

  1. What

  • What is the end goal of this project?

  • What resources will we require?

  • What should we call this project?

  1. How

  • How do we divide the responsibilities?

  • How will this project help our business?

  • How do we get feedback?

  1. Where

  • Where will we get the funding for this project?

  • Where do we allocate the available resources?

  • Where do we apply the learnings of this project?

  1. When

  • When shall we start working?

  • When shall we engage external stakeholders?

  • When shall we ask for funding and other support?

  1. Why

  • Why is this project important?

  • Why should we allocate available resources for this project?

  • Why will people want to work on this project?

Step 4

At this stage, discuss all the answers with your team. All the responses are instrumental in building a solid vision for your project. If there are additional questions to explore, conduct more sessions to address those concerns.

Note that the Starbursting exercise can be done independently as well, where one person brainstorms questions. As a group exercise, several people can work on a single point of the star, that is, a single question group.

Is The Starbursting Technique Useful?

Starbursting has many benefits. Most importantly, it lends structure to the brainstorming exercise. It guides you and prompts you to cover all bases and involve everyone in the process. It can be used for a variety of purposes—from idea generation to preparing the detailed groundwork for a project. However, it comes with its own set of limitations. The success of this process depends on the experience and competence of a participant.

Creative thinking and innovative approaches are guaranteed to enhance the quality of your brainstorming sessions. Harappa’s Unleashing Creativity will help you drive innovation of products, services and internal processes, and use an iterative approach to generate, test and refine new ideas. Champion creative ideas and exceed workplace expectations today!

Explore topics such as What Is Brainstorming, The Ultimate Guide To Design Thinking, the Process Of Design Thinking & Examples Of Design Thinking from Harappa Diaries to drive innovation of products, services and internal processes.

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