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Affinity Diagram

What is an Affinity Diagram

Ideas/ thoughts can be generated by brainstorming - this serves as the next step - to organize and summarize natural groupings among them to understand the problem and come up with innovative solutions. So it is a complete technique to brainstorm and distill ideas

When to use an Affinity Diagram
  • To organize and group a lot of ideas

  • Increases participation from team - and ownership

  • if stuck with too many options and enable to reach consensus

  • Helps idea merging for a better idea

How to make an Affinity Diagram
  • Logistics are similar to brainstorming

  • Write the problem phrase on the board

  • Follow brainstorming guidelines 

  • Write at least 20 ideas on large post-its based on brainstorming

  • Use capital letters and stay within the word limit of 4 to 7 words

  • Now - in silence group should sort them onto related groupings

  • they can move each other's placement

  • if required create a duplicate one

  • when sorting slows down, group may be near a consensus

  • some ideas may not have a group -- it's OK 

  • Now, for each grouping - a header card should be produced

  • Use consensus derived headings

  • Subheaders may also be created

  • Now, draw up the final one - check for consensus

  • Instead of noun or verbs - diagrams can be used 

  • If you were to also draw any connectors or relationships between post-its - it could become an interrelationship diagram - will help you relate to connected ideas

Example of an Affinity Diagram
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