Idea Generation Tools: Brainstorming, Affinity Grouping, and Multivoting

​Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Brainstorming, Affinity Grouping, and Multivoting are tools for generating, categorizing, and choosing among ideas in a group of people. Using these techniques to generate, categorize, and choose among ideas has a number of benefits:

  • It allows every member of the group to participate.
  • It encourages many people to contribute, instead of just one or two people.
  • It sparks creativity in group members as they listen to the ideas of others.
  • It generates a substantial list of ideas, rather than just the few things that first come to mind; categorizes ideas creatively; and allows a group of people to choose among ideas or options thoughtfully.
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