Affinity Diagram Template Guidelines

The affinity diagram is essentially a planning and management tool. The use of this effective tool is often based on the understanding that the time period usually invested in planning will end up producing remarkable dividends as the generated plans as well as ideas implemented and acted upon. Generally, unlike the basic equipment for improvement which primarily deals with analyzing and collecting hard data, affinity diagram normally focuses on the ideas and issues involved in soft data. Don’t you think that it’s indeed an effective as well as an important tool?

As you know, this tool is often the result of creative processes that are focused on finding major themes which are affecting problems by generating a number of opinions, issues and ideas. The process usually identifies these issues; groups naturally related items as well as the one concept which ties each of the groupings together. Typically, the team working on an issue reaches consensus by cumulative effect of personal sorting decisions instead of via discussions.

How Does an Affinity Diagram  Relate to Website Usability?

In matters relating to website usability, an affinity diagram template is often used to sort large data amounts into logical groups. Generally, items and/or new items usually identified by people are written on sticky notes that are sorted into categories as a workshop activity. Note that this tool can normally be used to:

  • Analyze findings from different field studies
  • Identify as well as group user functions as part of the design
  • Analyze findings from usability evaluation

How Effective an Affinity Diagram Can Be Towards the Process of Project Implementation and Management

First and foremost, you should note that this effective tool can be of great beneficial in organizing random data so that it can hassle free display the underlying organization of a problem or an issue. It is normally particularly important if the situation tends somehow to be chaotic.

The situation often sometimes turn out to be chaotic each and every time there are excess objectives, requirements, ideas or influences or if a break- through, thinking as opposed to incremental improvement is required. This tool can help in clarifying the broad themes and issues that are often used in most situations to handle any given situation. Basically, the affinity process can allow a person to sift via a large volume of information effectively. It can also enable new patterns and approaches to rise for considerations. Let us now have a look at the various steps you’re required to partake if you want to create an affinity diagram.

Steps Involved in Creating Affinity Programs

Step#1: Assembling a Proper Team

First and foremost, you’ll be required to assemble a qualified team if you want to make the entire process to be successful. The team should comprise of six to seven members who’re well acquainted with the situations to be handled. Also, they must be familiar with one another and must be accustomed to working effectively and efficiently as a group. They must also be in a position to hold similar principles and ideologies.

Step#2: Phrasing the Situation to be Handled

The affinity process normally proves to be very useful if the situation is loosely or vaguely stated. The group members must make sure that the statement is neutral in order to avoid limiting or directing ideas. Generally, when you have settled on the statement phrasing, it is ideal that you write it on top of a flipchart or board so that it is visible to the members of your team.

Step#3: Generating and Recording Ideas

Observe conventional brain- storming guidelines like criticism of ideas or no discussions, generate more ideas in a short- time period, allow every person to participate and then precisely record the ideas as spoken rather than as interpreted by your recorder.

Step#4: Displaying the Finished Idea Cards

Randomly layout your idea cards for all the members of the group to see them.

Step#5: Arranging the Idea Cards Carefully in Groupings

In silence, all your group members must simultaneously start moving the cards, collecting and arranging them in columns. Furthermore, you must as well make sure that the idea cards are visible in order for every person to have a chance to consider and also reconsider the pattern as it comes out.

Step#6: Creating Headers

Look carefully for an idea card in each and every grouping with a description of the common perception that links the whole team together. Basically, discussions must be utilized in creating and choosing headers. Note that if for instance one of the groups happens to be unusually large, it is important that you try to form sub- grouping in such a group.

Step#7: Drawing the Completed Diagram

This is the final step involved when creating this tool. It is ideal that you’re aware that this tool can add understanding as well as clarify if there somehow seems to be ideas or facts linked to the situation.

What this Tool Can do for You

Affinity diagrams can assist you organize easily random data. This can be very important since it can hassle free settle in any underlying organization of an issue or problem. This tool can assist clarify the broad issues and themes acting on any kind of situation. Normally, the affinity process lets a person sift via large volumes of content efficiently and effectively. It also allows the true new approaches or patterns to emerge for considerations. Don’t you think it’s worth having this tool with you? This tool is useful especially in the process of analyzing and measuring of phases of the lean Six Sigma Methodology.

Now What?

If you’ve got limited time and you do not know whether applying a whole cycle of the tools will turn out to be valuable, it is essential that you try to make use of this effective and then see what happens.

In general, this effective tool will assist you add clarity as well as understanding whenever:

  • There appears to be any chaos in the ideas or facts relating to the situation.
  • Old situations somehow seem not to be working as required and break- through thinking somehow seems in order.
  • Support to proposed solutions is critically ideal to its success

Reasons why Creating an Affinity Diagram Sometimes may Prove to be not Valuable

Creating this tool usually may prove not very valuable due to the following reasons:

  • The solution to the issue is simple
  • The situation is demanding quick, decisive action

Creating an affinity diagram often can allow a person sift via large volumes of ideas and information with efficiency.



Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.