Affinity Diagram

Shambhavi Patil
2 min readJun 27, 2021

-Project Management Tool

What are Affinity Diagrams?

An affinity diagram shows the relationships between information by placing them in related groups. It is a convenient way for teams to organize large numbers of ideas and group them based on affinity.

Ideas from a brainstorming session can go in different directions, and so a diagram like this helps keep discussions organized and focused.

Why use Affinity Diagrams?

Project Managers use them to organize a plethora of ideas so that members can better see the patterns in what’s been discussed and help identify potential solutions.

Some of the things that an affinity diagram helps analyze include:

  • Information
  • Problems, Issues
  • Solutions
  • Opinions

It also helps to analyze the cause and effect of the different variables.

How is an Affinity Diagram made?

A basic affinity diagram template includes some sample groups and empty rows and columns to fill.

Building an affinity diagram typically follows these steps:

  1. Identify the purpose of brainstorming and gather people from different areas of expertise for the brainstorming session.
  2. Identify major categories for the information and have color-coded sticky notes for these people to write ideas on.
  3. Place each of the factors within its associated category. Continue dividing the factors until each has been placed under an appropriate category.
  4. Prioritize the information, and put the ideas in descending order.
  5. Analyze the affinity diagram with members. This will help your team reach a conclusion or better understand the key issues to address.

Efficiency of the Affinity Diagram

Although using an affinity diagram when working with small amounts of data is not recommended, there are times when this diagram is more beneficial to use. It is useful when you have enormous amounts of unsorted or unorganized data. It is also helpful for idea generation and refining your thought process and ideas.

Best Practices

  1. Determine the issue or aspect that will be the focus of the affinity diagram. Enter an appropriate title at the top of the page. Set clear boundaries of what major information or issues to include.
  2. While identifying groupings/categories, create major categories into which the solutions or factors can be arranged. These groupings should be logical and should be able to encompass several factors.

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Shambhavi Patil

A 20-year-old with an avid interest in innovations brought about in IT, Business Analytics, and Product Management!