Nifty Tool for Affinity Mapping
We were doing some positioning for one of our courses at Pragmatic Institute (yes, we use our own tools), and I learned a new trick with Excel.
In positioning, we start with a list of problems. Then we aggregate problems into a marketecture of problem-oriented features. The Auto Filter feature in Excel allows you to see what marketecture items you've mapped the features to. To use Excel for this affinity mapping process, first list the problems in column 1. Then, begin mapping them into groups of items that are alike by creating a second column. The second column has the group name. Select the spreadsheet, go to the Data menu, select Filter, and Auto Filter. Voila! There is now a drop-down list of all of the group names. You can select a specific one to see all items with that group name.
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