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Afinity Diagram

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An Affinity Diagram is a special type of brainstorming process that is used for organising large groups of information into meaningful categories. It helps us to clarify and make sense of a large or complex problem, e.g.

  • How to implement a process of continual improvement throughout the organisation?
  • Which causes of waiting time in the hospital should we be working on?

How To Do It

  1. Define the problem or issue to be explored. Use Problem Definition and ensure that you state the problem as clearly and unambiguously as possible.
  2. Brainstorm for ideas, but instead of everyone shouting out ideas, everyone silently writes down their ideas on sticky notes or index cards.
  3. When the brainstorm is complete mix up all of the notes or cards and stick them on the wall or spread them out on a table.
  4. Let the group arrange the notes or cards into related groups as follows:
  • Take two cards that are related in some way and put them together.
  • Find other cards that belong to this group and put them with the first two.
  • Build other groups of cards in the same way until all of the cards have been grouped (about 10 groups maximum).

More on the improvement network


Written by dinh

December 9, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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