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CITOOLKIT
Affinity Diagram
Making Sense of Multiple Ideas with Affinity Diagrams
citoolkit.com
Introduction
Think of situations where you needed to organize many ideas or information
to make sense of them.
Affinity Diagram 2
Such information and ideas are
important, and you need to make
sure that you wouldn't miss any them.
What would you do?
citoolkit.com
Definition
An affinity diagram is grouping method that is used to classify items together
into meaningful categories.
Affinity Diagram 3
citoolkit.com
Uses
Often used to capture and group the output of brainstorming and
problem-solving meetings in order to provide better understanding of the
topic.
The outcome is a better understanding of the problem or topic.
Affinity Diagram 4
citoolkit.com
Uses
Allows to classify many thoughts produced by a team or customers for
further review and analysis.
Affinity Diagram 5
The goal is to create a limited number of classified groups
Affinity
Exercise
Solutions / alternatives
Voice of the customer
Ideas / opinions
Research / survey data
Classified
groups
citoolkit.com
Applications
Affinity Diagram 6
During idea-generation and brainstorming sessions
Usually conducted after brainstorming, nominal group technique, etc.
citoolkit.com
Applications
Affinity Diagram 7
During problem-solving sessions
When the problem is subjective and held in the minds of many people
citoolkit.com
Applications
Affinity Diagram 8
At any stage in research and in verbatim/text analysis
citoolkit.com
Applications
Affinity Diagram 9
Can be used to organize the voice of the customer
Feedback from customers is valuable information and needs to be organized in an
appropriate manner to be useful
citoolkit.com
Applications
Affinity Diagram 10
Used to find useful messages in customer statements which may come from
different sources (discussions, complaints, interviews, etc.)
citoolkit.com
Benefits
Affinity Diagram 11
Helps identifies the
characteristics that
distinguish each
category.
Helps organize
information and
ideas and see how
they are connected.
Helps bringing out
the best ideas and
leads to better
results.
citoolkit.com
Three Basic Steps . . .
Affinity Diagram 12
Collect or Generate Group Label
1st
2nd
3rd
citoolkit.com
Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise
Affinity Diagram 13
With your team, present the topic and define the problem clearly
• You will need to conduct an affinity mapping workshop.
• You will also need to assign a facilitator to lead the discussion.
citoolkit.com
Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise
Affinity Diagram 14
Give your team sticky-notes
• Ask them to write one idea or response per sticky-note.
citoolkit.com
Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise
Affinity Diagram 15
Collect the sticky notes and stick them randomly on the wall or a table
• Do not organize them initially on any sort of order.
citoolkit.com
Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise
Affinity Diagram 16
Lead the participants to group the ideas into categories that make sense
• Make sure that people are collaborating in the categorization process.
• Start small by looking for just two items that are related to one another, then
group them together.
• Then, look for another two ideas that are similar in some way, and so on.
citoolkit.com
Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise
Affinity Diagram 17
Lead the participants to label the categories
• Use the produced affinity diagram to guide future planning and analysis.
• Share the affinity diagram with relevant stakeholders.
GROUP 2
GROUP 1
citoolkit.com
Hints
Affinity Diagram 18
GROUP 2
GROUP 1
Eliminate duplicate items and the
items that are not worth keeping
Move items between groups if
required
Add arrows between items and groups
to show relationships
There may be a few items left uncategorized
which do not fit into any groups
citoolkit.com
Example - Identify How to Successfully Implement Change
This affinity diagram which has been developed after a brainstorming session.
Affinity Diagram 19
Training at
all levels
Communicate
change vision
Performance
management
Quick
wins
Implementation
Empower
-ment
Encourage
personal
development
It may take
longer to
change
Some
people will
never change
Change Obstacles
Paradigms
A blaming
culture
Change
resistance
Planning
A change
agent
Sense of
urgency
A vision to
change
Leadership
A change
plan
citoolkit.com
Further Information
There should be no discussion or evaluation
of ideas of any kind until the final affinity
diagram is complete.
During interviews, record the actual spoken
words if the information to be collected is
verbal.
When grouping items, use feeling rather than
conventional classifications.
Affinity Diagram 20
© Copyright Citoolkit.com. All Rights Reserved.
CITOOLKIT
Made with by
The Continuous Improvement Toolkit
www.citoolkit.com

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Making Sense of Multiple Ideas with Affinity Diagrams

  • 1. CITOOLKIT Affinity Diagram Making Sense of Multiple Ideas with Affinity Diagrams
  • 2. citoolkit.com Introduction Think of situations where you needed to organize many ideas or information to make sense of them. Affinity Diagram 2 Such information and ideas are important, and you need to make sure that you wouldn't miss any them. What would you do?
  • 3. citoolkit.com Definition An affinity diagram is grouping method that is used to classify items together into meaningful categories. Affinity Diagram 3
  • 4. citoolkit.com Uses Often used to capture and group the output of brainstorming and problem-solving meetings in order to provide better understanding of the topic. The outcome is a better understanding of the problem or topic. Affinity Diagram 4
  • 5. citoolkit.com Uses Allows to classify many thoughts produced by a team or customers for further review and analysis. Affinity Diagram 5 The goal is to create a limited number of classified groups Affinity Exercise Solutions / alternatives Voice of the customer Ideas / opinions Research / survey data Classified groups
  • 6. citoolkit.com Applications Affinity Diagram 6 During idea-generation and brainstorming sessions Usually conducted after brainstorming, nominal group technique, etc.
  • 7. citoolkit.com Applications Affinity Diagram 7 During problem-solving sessions When the problem is subjective and held in the minds of many people
  • 8. citoolkit.com Applications Affinity Diagram 8 At any stage in research and in verbatim/text analysis
  • 9. citoolkit.com Applications Affinity Diagram 9 Can be used to organize the voice of the customer Feedback from customers is valuable information and needs to be organized in an appropriate manner to be useful
  • 10. citoolkit.com Applications Affinity Diagram 10 Used to find useful messages in customer statements which may come from different sources (discussions, complaints, interviews, etc.)
  • 11. citoolkit.com Benefits Affinity Diagram 11 Helps identifies the characteristics that distinguish each category. Helps organize information and ideas and see how they are connected. Helps bringing out the best ideas and leads to better results.
  • 12. citoolkit.com Three Basic Steps . . . Affinity Diagram 12 Collect or Generate Group Label 1st 2nd 3rd
  • 13. citoolkit.com Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise Affinity Diagram 13 With your team, present the topic and define the problem clearly • You will need to conduct an affinity mapping workshop. • You will also need to assign a facilitator to lead the discussion.
  • 14. citoolkit.com Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise Affinity Diagram 14 Give your team sticky-notes • Ask them to write one idea or response per sticky-note.
  • 15. citoolkit.com Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise Affinity Diagram 15 Collect the sticky notes and stick them randomly on the wall or a table • Do not organize them initially on any sort of order.
  • 16. citoolkit.com Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise Affinity Diagram 16 Lead the participants to group the ideas into categories that make sense • Make sure that people are collaborating in the categorization process. • Start small by looking for just two items that are related to one another, then group them together. • Then, look for another two ideas that are similar in some way, and so on.
  • 17. citoolkit.com Steps for Conducting an Affinity Exercise Affinity Diagram 17 Lead the participants to label the categories • Use the produced affinity diagram to guide future planning and analysis. • Share the affinity diagram with relevant stakeholders. GROUP 2 GROUP 1
  • 18. citoolkit.com Hints Affinity Diagram 18 GROUP 2 GROUP 1 Eliminate duplicate items and the items that are not worth keeping Move items between groups if required Add arrows between items and groups to show relationships There may be a few items left uncategorized which do not fit into any groups
  • 19. citoolkit.com Example - Identify How to Successfully Implement Change This affinity diagram which has been developed after a brainstorming session. Affinity Diagram 19 Training at all levels Communicate change vision Performance management Quick wins Implementation Empower -ment Encourage personal development It may take longer to change Some people will never change Change Obstacles Paradigms A blaming culture Change resistance Planning A change agent Sense of urgency A vision to change Leadership A change plan
  • 20. citoolkit.com Further Information There should be no discussion or evaluation of ideas of any kind until the final affinity diagram is complete. During interviews, record the actual spoken words if the information to be collected is verbal. When grouping items, use feeling rather than conventional classifications. Affinity Diagram 20
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