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Context Diagram VS Affinity Diagram

Context diagram vs affinity diagram

Context Diagram

Context Diagram is a technique used for collecting requirements. It is listed as one of the tools and techniques for the Collect Requirements process in Project Scope Management.

PMBOK defines Context Diagram as below

“A visual depiction of the product scope showing a business system (process, equipment, computer system, etc.), and how people and other systems (actors) interact with it.”

Context diagram’s are used to define and model scope.

Context diagram’s visually depict the product scope by showing

  • a business system
  • and how people and other systems interact with it.

What does Context diagrams show ?

  • inputs to the business system,
  • the actor(s) providing the input,
  • the outputs from the business system, and
  • the actor(s) receiving the output.

Affinity Diagram

Affinity diagram is a type of Data representation technique used for collecting requirements in Project Scope Management.

Brainstorming is one way of collecting requirements. A large number of ideas are generated during a brainstroming sessions. Now, through Affinity Diagram we can these classify large number of ideas into groups for review and analysis. These groups of ideas are formed based on the affinity or relationship between those ideas.

An Affinity Diagram helps organize an unorganized list of ideas into a single or multiple coherent groups.

Steps to create an Affinity Diagram

  1. Conduct a brainstorming session with experts. Write down all the ideas on notecards.
  2. Understand why the brainstorming session is conducted and identify the major categories of ideas that are possible.
  3. Check the notecards, and group them under the different identified categories.
  4. Prioritize the ideas in each of the group, and place the ideas in the descending order of their priority in their group.
  5. Analyze the final result, and present it to the relevant stakeholders.


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