Almost every project will include brainstorming of some kind. Brainstorming sessions can be a powerful gateway to unlock solutions, make issues visible and bring experienced minds together. When individuals come together as a team, innovative ideas can be born. One of the struggles of brainstorming is that they generate so many great ideas and often reveal issues in large quantities which can often be hard to organize, understand and worse yet can leave members of a team feeling invalidated and unheard.
While I don't know the entire story of how the affinity diagram was created I'm sure that Mr. Jiro Kawakita recognized the need to organize ideas generated by teams in the 1960's too. The affinity diagram is a very simple, easy to use tool that can take ideas generated by groups and place them into easy to read, understandable categories which can be acted upon. In order to simplify the process of brainstorming Lean Strategies International LLC used similar techniques to create a means of revealing solutions and symptoms through brainstorming. We call the methodology the ©CURE methodology.
What is the ©CURE methodology?
The ©CURE methodology began as a simple four step process to facilitate a brainstorming session and has since been used to assist in analyzing and grouping ideas generated from team or group meetings in such a way that they can be acted upon. While the affinity diagram is quite a powerful tool, there are many different, 3 step, 4 step and 6 step methods used to facilitate the process. As a means of standardizing the affinity diagram we created a mnemonic so that anybody could lead a brainstorming session that can effectively gather ideas and categorize them into groups.
How is the ©CURE methodology performed?
There are four steps involved in the ©CURE methodology.
As you can see the ©CURE methodology is a simplified and easy to remember process for conducting a brainstorming ideas. While the name is in fact ©CURE the methodology can be used to reveal symptoms and generate possible kaizen events too. As with any other facilitation technique the ©CURE methodology does take a bit of experience and practice in real life. Try using the ©CURE methodology next time you have an opportunity for brainstorming.
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