Often it is useful to write or highlight this note in a different color. Place it at the top of the group. Affinity Diagram The Affinity Diagram, also known as a KJ diagram, is a business tool invented for organization the large quantity of ideas and data. When can you use it? Formalized in the 1960s by Japanese anthropologist Jiro Kawakita, affinity diagrams can also be referred to as affinity charts, affinity maps, or the KJ method. 368. Tip: Stating the problem in the form of a question (“What are the barriers to on-time delivery of medications?”) can often prove useful. You’ll see that the four basic steps are: Brainstorm … all ideas are good. This template shows a sample affinity diagram, demonstrating how ideas might be categorized in response to problem that needs to be addressed. Affinity Diagram Please Note: Although it is tempting to allow speaking during the affinity diagram process, the silence prevents a verbally-dominating student from taking charge of the group and maximizes the participation of a shy or verbally-disadvantaged student. Company SQBOK can now track these four areas and assign them to the appropriate groups for resolution. Participation by everyone in the group is assured with silent recording (option b, below), but traditional brainstorming can also generate ideas. Times to use the affinity diagram include: When the consensus of a group is required. This document is used with the unit "Proto-ZOO-ology: A problem-based protist inquiry unit." A team of hiring managers, new employees, human resource managers, and peer employees conducted a brainstorming session and identified 15 problems. An affinity diagram is the organized output from a brainstorming session. An Affinity Diagram (sometimes referred to as an Affinity Chart) is a tool that is used to organize ideas, opinions, and issues and sort them into groups, based on their natural relationships. Repeat until all notes are grouped. Tip: After posting all ideas the first time, fine-tune the groupings by moving cards from one pile to another to reflect closer ties. Online Affinity Diagram mapping process. Improve processes. Affinity diagram templates are broadly used in brainstorming procedures to reach at a productive and favorable idea or decision based on multiple similar ideas. Details of this exercise, which highlights improvement opportunities for the team, are shown in the table below. People have been grouping data into groups based on natural relationships for thousands of years; however, the term affinity diagram was devised by Jiro Kawakita in the 1960s and is sometimes referred to as the KJ Method. © 2020 American Society for Quality. Tip: Base assignment on “gut feel,” not through contemplation. An affinity diagram offers a way to organize output from brainstorming. An Affinity Diagram is a tool and technique widely used in organizations that solicits and categorizes a large set of seemingly disparate ideas identified during a brainstorming session into natural groupings. Start by writing the problem statement at the top of the diagram. The affinity diagram is an idea creation technique which goes by different names, such as thematic analysis, affinity chart, and K-J Method. It gets used to create, systematize, and unify information related to a problem, product, complex issue, or process. It is one of the Seven Management and Planning Tools. Share them with our readers in the comment section below. It also can be used to. These themes are referred to as affinity sets or affinity groups. What is Affinity Diagramming? They can sort out uncertain, disorganized or overwhelming observations about a process, and they inspire participation and support from a group, rather than applying a solution handed down from higher levels of management. You get an infinite canvas area to collaborate with multiple team members in real-time. Affinity diagrams are ideal for sorting large amounts of data or long lists of ideas into related groups. The team can now use a relations diagram, for example, or even a cause-and-effect (fishbone) diagram to get to root causes for late medications. It simplifies analyzing complex data by grouping them, which helps bring out connections among them and identify patterns. Using a simple Affinity Diagram technique can help you discover embedded patterns in your data (and sometimes break old patterns) of thinking by sorting and clustering language-based information into relationships and sexual health. In short, the affinity diagram shows the common issues, themes, and scope of the customer problems and needs in one place. It arranges the notes from Interpretation Sessions into a hier-archy that reveals common issues and themes across all users. The Affinity Diagram tool is used to consolidate a large amount of information into groupings or clusters of ideas that have a natural 'affinity', i.e., that have a common thread running through them. The placement of the cards doesn’t have to make sense, keep them at random. The affinity diagram can be a useful tool whether you are brainstorming ideas, sorting through research data, improving a process or solving a problem. Improvement teams can then analyze these groups and determine how they affect workflow and processes. What is an affinity diagram? A separate group charged with managing the onboarding process was asked to identify any commonalities or relationships between the ideas. Silent recording—Each person writes responses on 3" x 5" cards or sticky notes, one idea per card, until all team members have exhausted their store of ideas. Materials needed: Sticky notes or cards, marking pens, and large work surface (wall, table, or floor). Assigned a group leader for the activity. After generating ideas, a facilitator sorts them according to … An affinity diagram shows the relationships between information, opinions, problems, solutions, and issues by placing them in related groups. https://www.pqsystems.com/.../DataAnalysisTools/affinity_diagram.php Present your analysis to others in the company in an easy-to-understand manner. Company SQBOK seeks to understand the difficulties around and excessive time needed for onboarding new employees. Attempt to look for relationships between individual ideas and have team members simultaneously sort the ideas (without talking) into five to 10 related groupings. Visual Guide to Improving Organizational Performance, The Ultimate Guide to Concept Maps: From Its Origin to Concept Map Best Practices, Everything You Need to Know about Strategy Mapping, Visual Tools to Use While Conducting Experiments, Fun Virtual Christmas Party Ideas Perfect for Remote Teams, Ending the Year on a High: G2 Crowd Names Creately a Leader in the Diagramming Category, How to Visualize A Customer-Centric Strategy, The Best Ideation Techniques for Remote Teams, How to Effectively Manage Your Time While Working Remotely, How to Write a Business Project Proposal that Gets Approved, Find creative solutions to difficult problems by involving people from diverse fields, Sort through large volumes of confusing data and quickly organizing them in a logical, easy-to-understand manner, Encourage the participation of everyone involved, which leads to uncovering new patterns of thinking and unique solutions. The affinity diagram organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships. Figure 3 Affinity Diagram On-Time Delivery of Medications. Cause and Effect Diagram. For affinity diagramming of research findings, some teams prefer to sort the sticky notes after each participant’s test session, and again after all (four to eight) sessions. Each idea was categorized under these general areas. Step 3: Based on the similarities you identified earlier, come up with header names for each group. It’s also a way for team members to share ideas and findings. An Affinity Diagram is a graphic tool designed to help organize loose, unstructured ideas generated in brainstorming or problem solving meetings and gathers large amounts of language data (ideas, opinions, issues) and organizes them into groupings based on their natural relationships. An Affinity Diagram is an analytical tool used to organize many ideas into subgroups with common themes or common relationships. This will prevent any disagreements and allow everyone the freedom to follow their instincts. If you wish to share it with others outside your team, send them a view or edit link, or you can export them as SVGs or in several image formats and add them to company wikis, websites, presentations or documents. The process involves recording thoughts and ideas onto sticky notes and placing them together into like groups and sorting the ideas. Reviewed final groupings and headers. Adapted from The Quality Toolbox, Second Edition, ASQ Quality Press. The affinity diagram organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships. This process of creating affinity diagrams is known as affinity mapping. Prioritization matrices Activity network diagram Process Decision Program Charts (PDPC) Plan Do Check Act PDCA The affinity diagram method is a technique for problem solving. While an affinity diagram may present interesting data and useful ideas, the exercise itself should lead to further analysis. With members and customers in over 130 countries, ASQ brings together the people, ideas and tools that make our world work better. The team members wrote each idea on sticky notes and placed the notes, in random order, on a rarely used door. Affinity diagrams tend to have 40 to 60 items; however, it is not unusual to see 100 to 200 items. Here’s a One-Sheet, Quick Reference Guide on the Affinity Diagram you can download with the directions. For example, the team posted together all topics that suggested that the pharmacy may be understaffed. After generating ideas, group them according to their affinity, or similarity. All rights reserved. Seeking to better understand the barriers to on-time delivery of medications, the team created an affinity diagram in six steps. Also known as the K-J method, affinity chart, and affinity mapping, an affinity diagram is a tool that is used to organize data gathered from a brainstorming session, research, meeting, etc. The process also highlights areas of deficiency. Tips: Header cards should clearly identify the common thread for all groupings and should be descriptive of that thread. Why should you use it? One can also use this tool when having different ideas in mind to do something. The following example comes from a hospital setting. Affinity diagram is a convenient tool to use after a successful brainstorming session which left you with great many ideas that are scattered and non-connected. Ltd 2020 | All rights reserved. If data needs to be collected then have a data collection plan and sampling methodology and strategies identified. 355. We hope the templates we have added here will help you get a headstart. From these relationships, attempt to define categories and create summary or header cards for each grouping or category. The method is reported to have been developed by Jiro Kawakita and so is sometimes referred to as the K-J method. It arranges the notes from Interpretation Sessions into a hier- archy that reveals common issues and themes across all users. Because the team works a shift schedule and members could not meet to do the affinity diagram together, they modified the procedure. Affinity diagrams are also a great way to discover novel connections between various different components of a project. If a note seems to belong in two groups, make a second note. Use it to generate, organize, and consolidate information related to a product, process, complex issue, or problem. However, if your team is distributed, Conceptboard’s online whiteboard and digital sticky notes is the perfect tool to ensure your team can collaborate just as effectively online. It is a part of Seven Management and Planning Tools, it is usually used right after brainstorming to sort large numbers of ideas into the corresponding groups. Benefits of sorting after each session are that: It helps the team gain a shared understanding after each user. ASQ celebrates the unique perspectives of our community of members, staff and those served by our society. It is a project management technique that is very effective during brainstorming sessions in order to organize ideas. Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. The History of Affinity Diagrams Figure 1 shows the list team members brainstormed. Step 4: Polish off your affinity diagram. You can use affinity diagrams to: Organize the results of a brainstorming session. When using an online collaboration tool like Creately , you can use a square/ note shape to write them down and keep them aside on one side of the canvas. Directions: An affinity diagram is a visual tool that organizes ideas by themes often used in brainstorming sessions to determine both root causes and potential solutions for a problem. Five broad areas of performance were identified: product quality, equipment maintenance, manufacturing cost, production volume, and safety and environmental. Affinity diagram. When there are many ideas or facts in disarray. Gather your team and review it. Some people reviewed the evolving pattern several times. The header should convey the relationship between the ideas in a single word or phrase. The affinity diagram is used to assemble the output from a brainstorming session in an organized way. This way you can collect different and useful insight, opinions and perspectives to help arrive at faster solutions or better innovations. Mediate professional conflict. Do MSA on the data. Generate useful discussions that will lead to innovation/ effective solutions etc. Written ideas should be between three and seven words long. A free customizable affinity diagram template is provided to download and print. The affinity diagram process lets a group move beyond its habitual thinking and preconceived categories. By walking around and examining the posted notes, all members of the group had an opportunity to see the groupings and then to comment on them. Affinity diagram directions. To do so, look for a note in each grouping that captures the meaning of the group. Being one of the Seven Management and Planning Tools, the affinity diagram is commonly used in project management to organize, analyze and prioritize ideas and tasks. Here’s a One-Sheet, Quick Reference Guide on the Affinity Diagram you can download with the directions. Example: Problem with Prescription Delivery on separate cards. Synthesizing ideas into a simple visual framework allows teams to develop new solutions that they might otherwise miss. Copyright © 2008-2020 Cinergix Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved. Use plus create to add the next shape, and preset color themes to style your diagrams. When problems are too complex and extensive to comprehend. 81857. The Affinity Diagram T he Affinity Diagram is the simplest way to organize field data. under meaningful categories that are based on common relationships or themes. Here are some pros and cons of this variation: Benefits. Orientation does not cover office hour access times, Classes specific to our company are too infrequently offered, Applications needed for each job are different, Requirements for a laptop need to be identified, Badges need access levels established prior to start, When you are confronted with many facts or ideas in apparent chaos, When issues seem too large and complex to grasp, When collecting and organizing large data sets, When developing relationships or themes among ideas, When reducing attributes to categories that can be addressed at a higher level. Parsons Transdisciplinary Design students explain. Creately has multiple pre-drawn affinity diagram templates that you can easily edit to fit your needs. With the smart floating action buttons and handles, you can change item numbers and shape size easily at will. The Affinity Diagram is a method which can help you gather large amounts of data and organise them into groups or themes based on their relationships. After generating ideas, group them according to their affinity, or similarity. Affinity Diagram Example. Assign all ideas to the identified categories by placing ideas under header cards. Collectively, we are the voice of quality, and we increase the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs in the world. This is where an Affinity Diagram comes in (also known as an affinity chart or K-J method after its founder Kawakita Jiro). And you can add different colors to help different categories stand out. 69970 . The Affinity Diagram is a tool used in business planning to organize ideas and thoughts into related categories. Affinity diagrams provide a way to help with idea generation and organizeing your ideas after a brainstorming session is done. Don’t rely on the opinion of another when you are moving cards, do it at your own will, without talking. © Cinergix Pvt. Over several days, everyone reviewed the notes and moved the notes into related groups. Now that you have grouped the cards and given them headers, it’s time to make it look more presentable. It is a visual map that organizes ideas into categorized clusters after the initial brainstorming. It is also okays to move a note someone else has already moved. It can be widely used in the planning stages of a problem to organize the ideas and information. Quality Glossary Definition: Affinity diagram, Also called: affinity chart, affinity mapping, K-J Method, thematic analysis. Example of Affinity Diagram Template Got more tips on drawing affinity diagrams? Labeled each final grouping with a header identifying the general topic that all items in the group share. It was created in the 1960s by Japanese anthropologist Jiro Kawakita. Agreed on a statement of the issue or problem. After generating ideas, group them according to their affinity, or similarity. It's also known as a KJ diagram. You can edit these online instantly to kickstart your project. Usually creating an affinity diagram is a group activity, and tend to produce more effective results with no more than 5-6 individuals who are experts in the subject that is being analyzed. You’ll see that the four basic steps are: Brainstorm … all ideas are good. Write down the information you have gathered from your brainstorming session, research, surveys, etc. This idea creation method taps a team’s creativity and intuition. See Figure 3 (below). We’re included some photos of affinity diagrams that’s conducted for our clients. It is a part of Seven Management and Planning Tools, it is usually used right after brainstorming to sort large numbers of ideas into the corresponding groups. T he Affinity Diagram is the simplest way to organize field data. Root Cause Analysis. The key to using this tool is by organizing these scattered ideas by their running themes, patterns, or categories. Tips: It is very important that no one talk during this step. Notice that one of the notes, "Safety," has become part of the heading for its group. If there is no such note, write one. By hierarchically grouping the data, or affinity notes that reveal the problems and needs, it acts as the voice of the customer and the issues become the basis for user requirements. Following are the simple steps you need to go through when creating an affinity diagram. With regular pens, it is hard to read ideas from any distance. This is a great tool to use when sorting Voice of the customer data under broad 'Issues' categories. Organize team thoughts and ideas. Sort (Silently). Directions: An affinity diagram is a visual tool that organizes ideas by themes often used in brainstorming sessions to determine both root causes and potential solutions for a problem. It is the organized output from a brainstorming session. Also known as the K-J method, affinity chart, and affinity mapping, an affinity diagram is a tool that is used to organize data gathered from a brainstorming session, research, meeting, etc. Make changes and move ideas around as necessary. Traditional brainstorming—In order around the group, each person writes an idea or response to the question on a 3” x 5” card while announcing the content of the card to the group. Affinity diagrams are also used to highlight creativity and perception of a group of individuals or team. Affinity diagrams provide a way to help with idea generation and organizeing your ideas after a brainstorming session is done. It is also important to call these “groupings.” Do not place the notes in any order or determine categories or headings in advance. The entire team gathers around the notes and participates in the next steps. In this quick guide, we’ll describe what is an affinity diagram, its many uses, and how to create one. Team members should talk with each other as they arrange the ideas. Attached all of the cards to the wall, grouping similar ideas together. Figure 1 Brainstorming for Affinity Diagram Example. An affinity diagram is an excellent creativity and productivity tool – so long as you know how to use one effectively. Use this tool to brainstorm a viable business problem and its root causes and determine the best one that fits within the scope of influence you and counterparts might have on that particular problem. The rest of the headings were added after the grouping emerged. The affinity diagram is a business tool used to organize ideas and data. It’s okay to have “loners” that don’t seem to fit a group. Quickly get a head-start when creating your own affinity diagram. Select Category Headings and Clarify … here’s where you can question. This technique accesses the great knowledge and understanding residing untapped in our intuition. In this comprehensive guide, we have covered what affinity diagrams are and how to draw them with some pro tips that you can use along the way. The following example comes from a hospital setting. Teams use affinity diagrams as a way to see data come to life, and physically moving the data around helps immerse the team in it even more. This template shows a sample affinity diagram, demonstrating how ideas might be categorized in response to problem that needs to be addressed. It can also give us a sense of where most people’s thinking is focused. Use it to generate, organize, and consolidate information related to a product, process, complex issue, or problem. What is an Affinity Diagram? How to use affinity diagram. You can discuss the shape of the chart, any surprising patterns, and especially reasons for moving controversial notes. To review, in an analysis spreadsheet, each participant is listed in a column and each row can describe task performance, answers to a question, common problems experienced, or themes observed. Affinity diagram Use an affinity diagram to gather large numbers of brainstorming ideas and put them into logical groups. If you can discover relationships between separate groups, you can categorize them under a superheaders. Affinity diagrams are ideal for sorting large amounts of data or long lists of ideas into related groups. An affinity diagram, above all, stimulates discussion about a problem or issue, opening up possibilities for improvement or solution. Use an affinity diagram to gather large numbers of brainstorming ideas and put them into logical groups. While an affinity diagram may present interesting data and useful ideas, the exercise itself should lead to further analysis. under meaningful categories that are based on common relationships or themes. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics. (During a brainstorming session, write directly onto sticky notes or cards if you suspect you will be following the brainstorm with an affinity diagram.) However, if you come across ideas that don’t fit into any of the categories, you can place them on their own. Review the ideas while looking for similarities or whether they are related to each other in some way. After a few days, the natural grouping shown in Figure 2 (below) had emerged. Affinity diagram along with Six thinking hats can help an individual have a 360 degrees view of the problem statement. The affinity diagram is used to assemble the output from a brainstorming session in an organized way. The team can now use a interrelationship diagram, for example, or even a cause-and-effect diagram to get to root causes for late medications. The group identified four main categories: training, paperwork, regulatory, and technology. Node Fishbone Diagram. The affinity process is great for grouping data gathered during research or ideas generated during Brainstorms.The method is also called “Space Saturate and Group”. The Affinity Diagram, also known as a KJ diagram, is a business tool invented for organization the large quantity of ideas and data. Next step would be to check if data is availble and how it is collected. Place these related ideas on one column of the table you have created. 321. Prioritize It gets used to create, systematize, and unify information related to a problem, product, complex issue, or process. The ZZ-400 manufacturing team used an affinity diagram to organize its list of potential performance indicators. You can use affinity diagrams … The term “saturate” relates to the method in which everyone covers or saturates the “space” with images an… An affinity diagram is a diagram constructed out of a large set of ideas or opinions by grouping together similar or related ideas into logical groups. The focus should be on looking for and grouping related ideas. Drive group consensus. It allows a broad range of ideas to be organized so they can be more effectively analyzed. When ideas are grouped to the team’s satisfaction, select a heading for each group. 66441. Continue to group ideas based on their similarities until no cards are left. It is the organized output from a brainstorming session. Also known as KJ Method, it was invented in the 1960s by Kawakita Jiro, a Japanese anthropologist. By grouping these ideas, you are making it easier for you brain to process information. In an affinity diagram process, all of the ideas were written down on "sticky" pages affixed to a board. These themes are referred to as affinity sets or affinity groups. Affinity diagrams rely on Post-It notes to create the visual map. The Affinity shows the scope of the problem: it reveals in one place all The affinity diagram uses a more organized technique to gather facts and ideas to form developed pattern of thoughts. Develop innovative solutions. Tip: You have two main options for gathering ideas from team members. Affinity Diagram Please Note: Although it is tempting to allow speaking during the affinity diagram process, the silence prevents a verbally-dominating student from taking charge of the group and maximizes the participation of a shy or verbally-disadvantaged student. Randomly spread notes on a large work surface so all notes are visible to everyone. Use it to generate, organize, and consolidate information related to a product, process, complex issue, or problem. Tips: Use markers so words can be read clearly even from a distance. A few affinity diagram templates are included in the post as well. We have also included some best practices; stick to them for more effective results.