The Affinity Diagram is a method developed in the 1960s by a man called Jiro Kawakita and is sometimes called therefore, the KJ Method.
It is mainly used in Project Planning and is listed as being one the Seven Project Management tools.
The Affinity method or diagram is used to make sense of information.
After carrying out a brainstorming, the ideas are gathered into groupings and this helps to:
Because you are grouping the issues that came up in the brainstorming, you will also get a sense of Priority in what needs to be addressed first. The more post-its a grouped topic has, the more important it is likely to be.
If the brainstorming was carried out by all the Key Stakeholders or a cross functional team, you will have a greater chance of really taking up the key issues that need addressing. What better way to get a team focused in? And to get Management Buy-In to what needs to be done?
Once you have grouped the topics and thereby finished the Diagram, you can then analyse further by carrying out a Cause and Effect Diagram.