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Affinity Diagram

The Affinity Diagram is a tool for generating and organizing ideas. To create one as a group, prepare wall or tabletop space with flipchart paper, then:

  1. Brainstorm ideas individually on Post-its: a) one idea per Post-it; b) write in large lettters; c) use wide magic markers; d) 3-5 words per Post-it
  2. When writing slows down, ask team members to place their Post-its on the flipchart paper.
  3. Then ask team members to silently organize the ideas in meaningful clusters, grouping things that seem to go together. Don’t label the clusters at first. If there is disagreement or ideas go in more than one grouping, it is okay to create a duplicate Post-it. Talking is inevitable—just discourage evaluation—only allow clarification of ideas.
  4. When finished, the Leader or Facilitator can work with the team to circle the clusters and name them, writing the label in a prominent color.