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How to Capture Ad-Hoc Ideas with Brainstorm Diagram?

Great ideas are always the key to success. However, simply having ideas in your mind is worthless, transforming your ideas into reality is more vital. In Visual Paradigm, we have a brainstorm tool that can help to capture your ideas, categorize them and then transform them into a business process design. In this tutorial, you will learn how it works by walking through an example on setting up the process about how to attract customers in a car dealership business.

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard

Capture ideas with Brainstorm

Imagine we are going to setup a car dealership business and we have lots of good ideas about how the business should be running in mind. In order to avoid missing any of them, we better write them down. To capture all your ideas:

  1. Create a new project by selecting Project > New from the application toolbar. In the New Project window, enter Tutorial as project name and click Create Blank Project.
  2. Create a brainstorm diagram by selecting Diagram > New from the application toolbar. In the New Diagram window, select Brainstorm and click Next.
    New brainstorm diagram
  3. Enter Buy a car as diagram name and then click OK to create the diagram.
    Naming diagram
  4. Now select a sticky note from the diagram toolbar and put onto the corkboard.
    Create note
  5. Write down your ideas, i.e. Customer.
    Naming note
    Note that you don't need a write a paragraph to record your ideas, using short phrases or even simple words are sufficient to remind yourself what it is.
  6. Repeat the steps to create the following sticky notes.
    help user to arrange financing
    place order
    perform registration
    prepare for delivery
    deliver car to customer
    order from factory if no stock

    * You may use sticky notes of different colors to categorize your ideas on the first level.
    Notes collected

Tag your ideas into categories

Although our ideas are written as sticky notes, they are nothing more than simple words. Therefore, we have to further categorize them in order to understand their different kinds of nature, which helps in transforming them into design(s) later on. To categorize your ideas:

  1. Select a sticky note, let's say customer.
  2. Click on Tag at the bottom left corner of the note.
    Click on tag
  3. Since Customer is a participant in the process of buying a car, therefore we choose participant here.
    Select participant
  4. Repeat the steps for the rest of the sticky notes.
    Note Tag
    sales Participant
    factory Participant
    dealer Participant
    help user to arrange financing Task
    place order Task
    perform registration Task
    prepare for delivery Task
    deliver car to customer Task
    order from factory if no stock Decision

Visualize your ideas into a business process

Once the ideas are tagged, we can then use our magic wand to transform them into a process design. To transform the ideas on the sticky notes into a design:

  1. Select a sticky note, let's use customer again.
  2. Click on the tag, and select Realize > Pool.
    Realizing note
  3. The Transit Model Element window will show up. You can do necessary touch up here before you continue. For example, to give a meaningful name to the element to be created.
    Transit to Model Element window
  4. Click OK in the Transit Model Element window.
  5. Select Create new diagram in the Visualize Model Element window and name the diagram as Buy a car.
    Visualize Model Element window
    The note customer is now being transformed as a pool in our Buy a car process diagram.
    BPD formed
  6. Repeat the steps for Dealer and Factory. This time, selecs Show in existing diagram and then select Buy a car in the Visualize Model Element window.
    Show in existing diagram
  7. For the note sales, select Realize > Lane from the popup menu of the tag.
    Realize as lane
  8. In the Select Parent Pool/Lane window, select Dealer as its parent pool. Click OK to continue.
    Select parent pool
  9. Since we focus on the process about how to attract customers in a car dealership business, the internal operations of Customer and Factory are not our current concerns. To simplify the diagram, let's change them to black box pools by right click on them and then select Black Box.
    set task as blackbox
  10. Follow the steps we did previously to realize it into a Buy a car process diagram.
  11. Once we have realized all the participants, we can then move on to realize tasks and gateway. Repeat the steps above to realize the remaining sticky notes.
  12. We can layout the diagram right after we have realized all of them.
    Final BPD
    Finally you got your process design realized from your ideas. And it will be the kick start of your success.

Watch this Tutorial on YouTube

Here is the video version of this tutorial.

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