"Innovation—the heart of the knowledge economy—is fundamentally social.", Malcolm Gladwell

Project Outcomes

Find a creativity technique
New creativity technique

What is Crawford Slip Writing?

Crawford Slip Writing Method

1. What is Crawford Slip Writing?

http://www.appladesign.net/domains/create//documents/Picture33_502.jpgThe Crawford Slip Writing Method (CSM) is a simple yet effective type of brainstorming technique that gives the opinions of all team member equal weight, however quiet they are. [1] The CSM is actually one of the original forms of brainwriting. [2] It is an easy-to-use, effective group survey tool that enables the collection of ideas from audiences of almost any size rapidly and anonymously. 

The Crawford Slip Writing it is often the most efficient means of generating ideas and organizing them quickly into categories. This creativity technique is mainly used for:

  1. Obtaining written information, ideas, suggestions from individuals in a group setting;
  2. Analysing and synthesizing the data gathered; and
  3. Reporting the results.

Dr. C. C. Crawford, Professor of Education at the University of Southern California, originated the Crawford slip method in 1925.[3]  (Ballard, John A.; Trent, Debra M.).Over the next fifty years, C.C. Crawford applied the method in hundreds of situations to resolve problems and improve productivity in both the public and private sectors. Of his many publications during this period, How to Make Training Surveys (Crawford, 1954), is probably the most representative of his thought. [4]  Crawford (1983, p. 187) describes the essence of CSM as follows: "Assemble the relevant people; define the target subjects; get everyone to write their ideas-one idea at a time, in a single sentence, on individual slips of paper; collect and classify all slips; edit the results into final form."  [5] 

The method provides a means whereby a manager or consultant can gather a large amount of information in a very short period of time (typically, less than an hour). Because CSM is based on anonymous and independent inputs, it can provide qualitatively different data than that normally obtained in a group setting using other idea-generation techniques. Used properly, it can provide deep penetration into problem areas, creative ideas for problem resolution, high-quality data for decision making, and ideas for productivity enhancement and organizational improvement. 

When to use this technique:

  • Use it when you want to get ideas from a large group of people;
  • Use it when you do not have time or ability to discuss ideas, and just want to collect people's thoughts;
  • Use it when you want to engage an audience, giving them a sense of involvement.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication
reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any
use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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