Affinity Diagram Template - University of Washington

Affinity Diagram
Organizing ideas into common themes
Is it ever a bad thing to have too many ideas? Probably not, but if you've ever experienced information overload or
struggled to know where to begin with a wealth of data you've been given, you may have wondered how you can
use all of these ideas effectively.
When there's lots of "stuff" coming at you, it is hard to sort through everything and organize the information in a
way that makes sense and helps you make decisions. Whether you're brainstorming ideas, trying to solve a
problem or analyzing a situation, when you are dealing with lots of information from a variety of sources, you can
end up spending a huge amount of time trying to assimilate all the little bits and pieces. Rather than letting the
disjointed information get the better of you, you can use an affinity diagram to help you organize it.
Also called the KJ method, after its developer Kawakita Jiro (a Japanese anthropologist) an affinity diagram helps to
synthesize large amounts of data by finding relationships between ideas. The information is then gradually
structured from the bottom up into meaningful groups. From there you can clearly "see" what you have, and then
begin your analysis or come to a decision.
Affinity diagrams can be used to:
Draw out common themes from a large amount of information
Discover previously unseen connections between various ideas or information
Brainstorm root causes and solutions to a problem
Because many decision-making exercises begin with brainstorming, this is one of the most common applications
of affinity diagrams. After a brainstorming session there are usually pages of ideas. These won't have been
censored or edited in any way, many of them will be very similar, and many will also be closely related to others in
a variety of ways. What an affinity diagram does is start to group the ideas into themes. From the chaos of the
randomly generated ideas comes an insight into the common threads that link groups of them together. From
there the solution or best idea often emerges quite naturally. This is why affinity diagrams are so powerful and
why the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers consider them one of the "seven management tools."
Affinity diagrams are not the domain of brainstorming alone though. They can be used in any situation where:
The solution is not readily apparent
You want to reach a consensus or decision and have a lot of variables to consider, concepts to discuss,
ideas to connect, or opinions to incorporate
There is a large volume of information to sort through
Page 1/3
Free Download

Affinity Diagram Template - University of Washington PDF

Favor this template? Just fancy it by voting!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
(0 Votes)
0.0
Related Forms
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
1 Page(s) | 1531 Views | 111 Downloads
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
1 Page(s) | 2276 Views | 259 Downloads
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
1 Page(s) | 1352 Views | 23 Downloads
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
1 Page(s) | 3367 Views | 175 Downloads
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
2 Page(s) | 934 Views | 2 Downloads