What is Affinity Grouping | Definition and Overview

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As a product manager, one of the key responsibility for you would be to prioritize the features for your product and map out a roadmap using powerful feature request tools. This is where Affinity Grouping comes into picture. Let us help you understand the three major things about Affinity Grouping:

  1. What is affinity grouping?
  2. What happens during an affinity grouping meeting?
  3. When to organize an affinity grouping meeting?

What is affinity grouping?

When you collaborative perform an activity with different stakeholders in your company to prioritize features for your product, this is called Affinity Grouping.

Affinity Grouping meetings helps you achieve three major things:

  1. Keep everyone engaged in the product development;
  2. Quickly understand where business risks could be when building features;
  3. Get a chance to listen to every stakeholder in the company about the risks, success factors and more during the affinity grouping meeting;

There is very little difference between affinity grouping meeting and a typical Product Discovery Workshop that many successful agencies organize to build product quickly with great quality.

During the Affinity Grouping meeting, you and your team sit down to map out the features, vote on them, while you are gathered around in a physical office space. But this is no more the case, this is where products like Hellonext comes into picture, where you can:

  1. Create private buckets to gather feature requests that are visible only to your team;
  2. Allow your team to vote on features in these private buckets;
  3. Discuss with them with real-time comments;
  4. Share the results and make decisions real quick for your product's roadmap;

What happens during an affinity grouping meeting?

Affinity Grouping meetings generally follow the following activities:

  1. Product manager gathers the feature requests that they might have received using a feature request tool where their users submit feature requests for your product.
  2. Product manager gathers everyone in the team to list down the features which could be the most relevant for the product;
  3. Everyone in the team vote on these feature requests;
  4. The most voted ones gets into the roadmap;
  5. Product manager finalizes the features based on the user, business and development priority;

It is that simple.

When to organize an affinity grouping meeting?

Most people meet on a monthly basis to run these meetings to prioritize what features and fixes are possible for the product teams to push live in the current month.

This timeline could vary from one company to the other depending on your release cycle. For example, at Hellonext, this meeting happens every two weeks, since we are iterating the feature request management tool as fast as we can with the user feedback we collect.

Pro tip: Read about the daily release cycle that Hellonext uses

If you need a tool that can help you with affinity grouping and manage your feature requests real good, get started with a free account on Hellonext here.


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