Affinity Diagrams

The affinity diagram is a business tool used to organize ideas and data

This method is just like Elito but more flexible and less time consuming. Starts with gathering all the data and observations and recording them on cards or notes. You then organize these cards/notes, basically grouping them to create atleast three or four groups and subgroups(if required). It is more like bottom-up approach as you start without having the category group in mind, and as the grouping of cards leads to clusters, you find the overarching theme for the cluster.

The process requires becoming deeply immersed in the data, which has benefits beyond the tangible deliverables.


  1. Collection

    Collect the data/observations/ideas for the topic/problem

  2. Recording

    Write down the information on cards/post-its

  3. Looking for relations

    Look for ideas that seem to be related.

  4. Grouping

    Place them in chunks, which eventually forms the groups. You can start creating hierarchical structure as things become more clear.

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