Curious Cat Management Improvement Dictionary: Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram - a tool to group ideas. See the link to a 21 page booklet on the affinity diagram below. Though the booklet mentions using the Affinity Diagram after a brainstorming session a differ method of gathering the notes is mentioned here.
Essentially the way the tool is used is by having a group of people write down ideas on "sticky notes." Then those notes are stock on a large piece of paper on the wall randomly. Then a select group will move the notes into logical groupings without talking (no one in the room will talk). People can move notes that other people have moved. Those moving the notes around will place titles over the notes to capture the theme of the notes. As things seem to be basically set (little or no current movement of notes) the facilitator will call an end to the silent movement. Then people can discuss the logical groups, interconnections, etc..
One benefit of this tool is to encourage participation from everybody. Those who are less vocal will be able to write their notes and move notes without the normal pressures of those who are most vocal dominating the process.

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