Nifty Tool for Affinity Mapping

We were doing some positioning for one of our courses at Pragmatic Institute (yes, we use our own tools), and I learned a new trick with Excel.

In positioning, we start with a list of problems. Then we aggregate problems into a marketecture of problem-oriented features. The Auto Filter feature in Excel allows you to see what marketecture items you've mapped the features to. To use Excel for this affinity mapping process, first list the problems in column 1. Then, begin mapping them into groups of items that are alike by creating a second column. The second column has the group name. Select the spreadsheet, go to the Data menu, select Filter, and Auto Filter. Voila! There is now a drop-down list of all of the group names. You can select a specific one to see all items with that group name.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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