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Creating Affinity Diagrams with MindManager

Affinity diagrams, also known as the KJ method, places large amounts of disorganized information and data into groupings based on natural relationships. This method was created by Japanese anthropologist Jiro Kawakita (KJ) in the 1960s and is still commonly used within brainstorming sessions, project management, and six sigma initiatives.

While often created using whiteboards or sticky notes there are many advantages to developing affinity diagrams with MindManager, including:

  • Ability to display various levels of details with expandable and collapsible topics
  • Embed documents, links, notes and other data within the diagram
  • You can easily rearrange ideas until they make sense
  • No one has to transcribe the information when you’ve completed
  • You can export or cut and paste the information into a variety of different applications
  • It’s easier to create with virtual or distributed teams

Create an affinity diagram with MindManager:

1. Define the problem or issue and place it as your central topic.

2. Use either brainstorming mode or add your ideas as floating topics in your map.

3. Find and group related ideas until they are all grouped. Add a branch for each related grouping with an appropriate label.

With MindManager, you can work on your ideas individually or project your ideas on a wall and diagram interactively with a team. With Mindjet Connect or MindManager Web, you can create affinity diagrams with team members in different locations.

For more information about affinity diagrams, here are a couple of recent posts on the subject:

About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.