- 617.599.0380

This affinity mapping exercise was designed to allow new students of a masters program to provide feedback to the program staff regarding the effectiveness of a highly intensive, month-long program orientation.  All students were asked to respond to the aspects of the orientation that worked, those that needed work, and those that they wanted more information on.  They were asked to write their responses on green, yellow, and orange Post It notes respectively.  After about 12 minutes of divergent thinking, the students were asked to stand up, holding their Post Its, and gather with others from their professional background.  The students then counted off by twos and were split into two random groups.  The Post Its for each group were them shuffled together and redistributed to the students.  Each group was then asked to organize their set of Post Its into categories of similar responses on the wall.  Upon completing this task, each group was asked to chart the relationships between each of the categories defined in their affinity map using a design structure matrix (DSM).  This portion of the exercise allowed each group to define the underlying drivers and effects in the orientation experience.

Allan Donnelly

Music Credit
2006 XL Recordings

About the Author
Allan Donnelly is a designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allan received an MS in Engineering and Management from MIT and a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Allan is interested in the intersection between design thinking and systems thinking.

Leave a Reply