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Affinity Diagrams: Drive Spontaneous Genius During
Content Planning Sessions
Posted on September 28, 2015 by admin
You’re a content manager or business owner, and you’ve got ideas for how you want to
conquer the Internet. You probably also have writers, content marketers, designers, and
other idea men and women on your team—whether that team is in-house, contract, or
both.That’s a lot of ideas.
Your content marketing calendar can become cluttered quickly with all those ideas, and
the result is often a cacophony of content that doesn’t mix, doesn’t match, and doesn’t
do much for your brand’s online wardrobe. One way to get everyone on the same
page—and ensure your content isn’t clashing—is by using an affinity diagram in your
content planning session.
What Is an Affinity Diagram?
An affinity diagram is a tool used in project and team management that lets you quickly
identify and group a large number of ideas. The diagram helps you sort through chaos
and discover natural order and relationship between ideas, content, products, services,
How Do I Put the Diagram to Work?
To conduct an affinity diagram analysis, gather your team in a meeting room with a large
table. You can also create an affinity diagram on your own or use a web-conference
interface to brainstorm with a virtual team. The diagramming session works best in
freeform on a table, floor, or wall, but you can use a virtual white board system.
1. Provide small notecards or sticky notes and markers to the team or yourself.
2. Take time for brainstorming, either alone or as a group. Record each idea on a
separate note. If using a virtual meeting space, record ideas in a typed list each
person can view.
3. Spread notes on a large table or floor area.
4. Look for ideas that are related and place them next to each other. If you are able
to do this as a team in the same room, don’t talk as you are defining
relationships. If you are doing the exercise online, you’ll have to communicate so
that the person controlling the diagram can move ideas.