Affinity Diagram

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Affinity Diagram:

Affinity Diagram


Description The affinity diagram organizes large numbers of ideas into their natural relationships. This method taps the teams creativity and intuition.

When to use:

When to use Facts or thoughts are in chaos; issues seem too large and complex to grasp. A breakthrough to new ideas is desired. Group consensus is necessary. Often useful following a brainstorming exercise.


Procedure 1. Record each idea with marking pens on a separate Post-It note or card. ( Brainstorm directly onto Post-It notes or cards if you suspect you will be following the brainstorm with an affinity diagram). Randomly spread notes on table, floor or wall so all are visible to everyone. The entire team gathers around the cards and participates in the next steps.


Procedure... 2. It is very important that no one talks during this step. Look for ideas that seem to be related in some way. Place them side by side. Repeat until all cards are grouped. Its okay to have “loners” that don’t seem to fit a group. It’s all right to move a card someone else has already moved. If a card seems to belong in two groups, make a second card. 3. You can talk now. When ideas are grouped, select a heading for each group. Look for a card in each grouping that captures the meaning of the group. Place it at the top of the group. If there is no such card, write one. Often it is useful to write or highlight this card in a different color.

Brainstorming for affinity diagram example Possible performance measures:

Brainstorming for affinity diagram example Possible performance measures % purity % trace metals Maintenance costs # of emergency jobs lbs.. Produced Environmental accidents Material costs Overtime costs # of pump seal failures Viscosity Cp k values Safety Days since last lost -time % rework or reject Hours downtime % uptime # of OSHA recordables # of customer returns Customer complaints Overtime/total hours worked $/lb. Produced Raw material utilization Yield Utility cost ppm water Color Service factor Time between turnarounds Hours worked/employee lb. Waste Housekeeping score % capacity filled

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