The affinity diagram, or KJ method (after its author, Kawakita Jiro), wasn't originally intended for quality management. Nonetheless, it has become one of the most widely used of the Japanese management and planning tools. The affinity diagram was developed to discovering meaningful groups of ideas within a raw list. In doing so, it is important to let the groupings emerge naturally, using the right side of the brain, rather than according to preordained categories.
Affinity Diagramming is a very simple but powerful technique for grouping and understanding information. In particular, affinity diagramming provides a good way to identify and analyze issues. There are several variations of the technique.