The Affinity Diagram is one of the best sense-making tools.
It allows you to sort out masses of information into natural groups based on the common characteristics they share or the categories they fall into. It’s also an interactive tool for analyzing the ideas/suggestions you get from brainstorming sessions.
- Describe the problem or issue
- Brainstorm – Tell each participant to record each idea they have on separate post-it notes
- After the participants are done, tell them to paste their post-it notes on a flip chart one at a time in any particular order
- Discuss with the participants to identify similar ideas and group the similar ideas together as individual categories – You’ll need to identify the connections between these ideas.
- For ideas that do not fit anywhere, separate them as stand-alone post-it notes
- For ideas that fit into more than one category, create duplicate post-it note(s) and place each under the appropriate category.