Affinity Mapping

Used to organize large amounts of data into groups or clusters, and build a group consensus.

  • Can be effective to organize ideas from a diverse set of individuals working on a complex problem
  • Important to phrase the issue or problem as¬† full sentence.
  • First just post all ideas randomly, then the group sorts and organizes, then headings are agreed to and added to each group.
  • Can be helpful to have the headers in a logical sequence
  • Outliers are ok
  • Can be used for creating or developing personas
  • Helps discover the most important parts of a problem
  • Allows free and creative thinking without constraints
  • Also called KJ Method after it’s creator

Alternative Sequence:

  1. Define the problem (be sure it’s the right problem)
  2. Create labels: goals for example or facts, concepts, etc.
  3. Organize the labels into a few categories with names
  4. Group adds sticky notes as appropriate.

Follow Through Process:

  • Don’t leave the sticky notes up on the wall for a long period
  • Use of a cause and effect diagram