Almost every project will include brainstorming of some kind at some point in the project lifecycle. Brainstorming sessions can be a powerful gateway to unlock solutions, make issues visible, prioritize actions and bring experienced minds together. When individuals come together as a team, innovative ideas can be born. One of the struggles of being a part of a powerful and productive brainstorming session is that they generate many great ideas and often reveal a large amount of issues. This can leave a group feeling overwhelmed. Often times, the wide array of ideas can be hard to organize, understand, validate and act on. Worse yet, many members of a team might leave feeling invalidated, unheard or completely shut down.
In the 1960’s Mr. Jiro Kawakita began developing a powerful tool that today is part of the seven management and planning tools. The tool was coined the name, the affinity diagram. Affinity as a noun means a similarity in features, characteristics or other defined attributes. It suggests a relationship or a strong resemblance. Of course, we’re all aware that a diagram is just a simple drawing that shows the appearance, structure or workings of something in a schematic representation. After breaking down those two words it is much easier to understand that the Affinity diagram is a powerful tool that can be used by a team members or individuals during a project. The diagram itself makes the perfect analytical tool that teams can use to organize ideas into subgroups with common themes or relationships that have been revealed during a brainstorming session.
Over the years many different methods of using the Affinity diagram have been developed and used. We hope that as you borrow from the CURE Methodology you will do the same. All tools should be improved and innovative in such a way that meets the needs of the user. The CURE Methodology provides a simple structured way for users to extract a large number of ideas from a group, organize ideas, problems and possible countermeasures into a group as well as prioritize and group themes. If you’re going to pull a group of people together for brainstorming the CURE Methodology is the method you’ll want to use.
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 settings. While the affinity diagram is a powerful tool, the CURE Methodology transforms the tool into a methodology that can be used repeatedly with successful results. This is very important in both group and individual settings. You don’t want to jump from 3 steps, to 4 steps and then 6 step methods when you’re facilitating a brainstorming session. Structure and consistency without restrictive elements helps people get results, time and time again. As a means of standardizing the affinity diagram we created a mnemonic so that anybody could lead a brainstorming session while systematically and effectively gathering the ideas, data and thoughts in a simple format.
How is the CURE methodology performed?
The CURE Methodology is performed in 4 steps, shown below. Although the online course has not yet been released, it is currently in development. To help you remember these 4 simple steps of the CURE Methodology we have made the photo shown below into a poster. You can download your poster for free by clicking on the photo.
As you can see the CURE methodology is a simple and easy way to facilitate and harness the power of everyone’s ideas. The name itself, CURE methodology is indicative of what it actually does, empowers teams to generate powerful solutions and find themes. The CURE Methodology can be used by anyone. As with any other facilitation technique the CURE methodology does take a bit of experience and practice in real life. Over time you will see just how powerful the method is. Try using the CURE methodology next time you have an opportunity for brainstorming.