Using the Affinity Diagram Template
Affinity diagrams are normally prepared during or after brainstorming sessions. As and when new ideas or solutions are proposed by the team members, these are arranged into related groups. Once all the ideas have been allocated across the groups,
each idea is examined to see whether it has been rightly grouped with the other ideas. After all the ideas have been properly or rather judiciously allocated to the groups, it’s time to assign each group a heading. Once all the information is organized and ready to be presented, it can be filled into the affinity diagram template.
At the top of the template goes the name of the project, and below that are columns meant to discuss ideas, problems and solutions. The first row of each of the columns is meant for the heading. If required, the heading can be described in the subsequent row, in broad terms. All the rows below these top two rows are meant for recording all the related ideas or solutions. When recording ideas and solutions, the idea is not to put in a detailed description; instead a descriptive title is all that is needed. Additionally, the name of the person who proposed the idea can be mentioned along with the idea.
Using the template is fairly simple as long as related pieces of information have been grouped logically. The template available at the above link has space to discuss ideas across five groups/headings, but the user can duplicate the columns to discuss more groups.
Once the affinity diagram is ready, it can be printed and circulated to all the team members.