Affinity Diagrams

Affinity diagrams, which are among the methods used in project management, are diagrams that serve to help organize ideas during a brainstorming session. 

They are classified as a part of Visual Data and Information Artifacts. It was first used by Jiro KAWAKITA in the 1960s. Also known as the KJ diagram. It is one of seven management planning tools identified by the Japanese Association of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).

In PMBOK 7  they are classified as a method part of Visual Data and Information Artifacts;

According to PMBOK 6, It is used as a tool and technique in the processes of;

  • Collect Requirements
  • Manage Quality

This diagram is used to group ideas, information from raw data, problems, and solutions to previously identified problems, opinions. In this aspect, the affinity diagram is also the basis for a fishbone diagram, which can be created so that the cause and effect relationship of different variables can be analyzed.

When a large amount of data is available, it is used to create more ideas about the process and clarify existing ideas by streamlining this data. In the actions that are part of the planning performance domain, they are typically used for the elicitation of requirements. Similarly, in the project work performance domain, it can be used for grouping stakeholders, communication requirements, and resources.

Simply, a team with knowledge of different areas of expertise is assembled to create a relationship diagram, creating a brainstorming environment and allowing all team members to write their ideas on cards.

Notecards prepared after determining the main topic and main categories of the brainstorming are placed under the appropriate category. After the ideas are put in order, they are analyzed by looking at the resulting picture, or a fishbone diagram (ishikawa diagram) is created to analyze the root cause.

See also:

Root Cause Analysis

Cause and Effect Diagram