3-12-3 Brainstorming

Type of record:
  • Micro method
  • Creativity technique
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


3-12-3 is a variant of brainstorming that is performed in a particularly short time. It can be used well to warm up before a longer task, or also as a single activity. The method is suitable for generating new ideas as well as for enriching and improving existing ideas.

It was developed by James Macanufo and is used in particular when
speed is required.

The numbers 3-12-3 refer to the time in minutes that has been set for each step (three in all). The method works best with up to ten participants, with larger groups also small subgroups are possible.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for low complex challenges
  • P5 Idea Finding (ideation - idea generation - creative phase - incubation)
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