Brainstorming and Affinity Diagramming

Brainstorming and Affinity Diagramming image

As quality improvement teams aim to improve clinical or operational processes, it will be necessary to elicit and catalog ideas about how a process currently functions, what works well and what doesn’t, and what a future or ideal process will look like. This module describes the use of two tools for idea generation. Brainstorming is a method to quickly produce many ideas from stakeholders, with creativity, and without judgment. Affinity diagramming allows the team to categorize and better understand the complexities of the ideas they have identified. These steps usually precede multi-voting and prioritization which are described in another module.

In this course, you will learn:

  • Describe brainstorming to generate a large volume of ideas for change
  • Describe affinity diagramming to organize ideas into categories
  • Identify opportunities to use brainstorming and affinity diagramming in healthcare quality improvement