University of Wisconsin–Madison
Cori Splain pointing to a slide showing an idea tree.
Cori Splain from the Office of Student Financial Aid explains an Idea Tree at the June 2018 WiCi event.

June 13 Brown-Bag Event Offers Tips and Techniques for Idea Generation and Prioritization

On June 13, 2018, the WiCi community held its first brown-bag style event, which was held over the lunch hour at Gordon Dining and Event Center. The event offered participants tips and techniques for idea generation and prioritization. Guest speaker Cori Splain from the Office of Student Financial Aid explained the concept and function of an “idea tree” that her office uses to generate ideas for process improvement projects. She explained how use of the idea tree has helped boost staff morale.

Elizabeth Paice, from the Office of Strategic Consulting, then introduced participants to other brainstorming and prioritization techniques. She began by discussing the differences between structured and unstructured brainstorming and then highlighted a few specific techniques including: Brain Writing, 1-2-4-All, and 25/10 Crowd Sourcing (the latter two are part of a group of alternative structures for facilitating meetings and conversations that are known as Liberating Structures). This was followed by a discussion of how to prioritize ideas once they’re generated, including use of an effort/impact matrix, criteria matrix, or affinity grouping.


Presentation (both presenters’ combined)
Brainstorming Agreements 
Liberating Structures 

What is the WiCi Network?

The Wisconsin Continuous Improvement (WiCi) Network is a university community of practice that was formed to bring together anyone involved in or supporting continuous improvement efforts across campus, or anyone interested in learning, sharing ideas, or networking around the work of continuous improvement.

The Administrative Process Redesign (APR) unit was a sponsoring organizer of the WiCi Network, but the community has not been limited to those involved in APR projects. Whether you are actively engaged in an improvement project, assessing how to bring continuous improvement to your unit, or just interested in learning more, the WiCi Network has a lot to offer.

Join Us at a WiCi Event

The WiCi Network hosts multiple events throughout the year that focus on topics relevant to the practice of process improvement. Some examples of recent event topics include Project Selection, Creating a Project Charter, and Optimizing Your Networking Skills. Anyone is welcome to attend and learn first-hand what the community is about.

Program and registration information is posted to this website and provided via email to email subscribers. To ensure you receive information about WiCi and future events, subscribe to the WiCi email list.

Save the Date:
July 11, 2018

Next Brown-Bag Event: From Idea to Project 

The next WiCi brown-bag event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 11, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will focus on how to turn an idea into a project and bring it to reality.

Additional program details and registration information will be available soon. Watch your email!

Get in Touch

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Row of other panelists listening as Steve Amundson speaks
Panelists share their expertise at the June 2017 WiCi event on Optimizing Your Networking Skills.