IAF Methods

Affinity Diagram

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Discerning the relationships (affinity) or a large group of ideas or statements

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Additional info

Goal

Affinitizing (clustering) a large group of ideas or statements using a group process.

Attachments

You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.

Materials

  • See above

Instructions

Before

Setting: Flipcharts, Post It Notes, Markers, Wall Space

Types of participants: All levels

Time needed: 1 hour

Ideal conditions: Large room, plenty of wall space, or table space, participants willing to engage in reflective activity.

Pre-Work Required: None

Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: Trusting

Facilitator personality fit: Good at reflective practice.

Level of Difficulty to Facilitate (to be deleted during review): Facilitation skills required

During

See file attached for more detail:  the following is a summary of the steps.

Step 1: Ensure that the team is comprised of the appropriate people

Step 2: Describe the issue or problem in a full sentence.

Step 3: Brainstorm causes to the problem, or if it is an issue or challenge, responses that will address it.

Step 4: Record each idea on a Post-It note

Step 5: In groups of 3 – 4 people, sort the Post-It notes into natural groupings or

themes – do this silently.

Step 6: Create consensus around the groupings.

Step 7: Create a summary Post-It for each grouping


After

Follow-Up Required: Build next steps and actions for clustered items

Usual or Expected Outcomes: Consensus, consolidating large number of ideas into a manageable number.

Potential pitfalls: Some people in group not willing to move at the pace of the slowest member.

How success is evaluated: Clustered items 'make sense' to group and provide action items for next steps.

Background

Source: Affinity Consulting

Derived from: The Seven Management and Planning Tools; Qualitative Analysis

History of Development: Qualitative Research; TQM

Recognizable components: Post-It notes

References: Post-It notes

Alternative names: KJ-Method

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