Take any large list of ideas or notes and sort them into a smaller number of separate groups. Then name the groups to create an information structure and discover themes.
- Use a brainstorm or other Collaborative Cycle to generate a collection of content, ideas, or issues on individual sticky notes.
- Now, sort the items into groups. Take one item and make it the first item in the first group. Take the next item and ask, “Is this similar to the first one or something different?” Either place it in the first group or into its own group.
- Continue item by item, placing things that are similar together and creating new groups when they don’t fit.
- After you’re done grouping, you should have 5 to 10 groups. Name the groups based on what the items represent together.
- Your named groups can now be used to describe what you have, help generate more items in a group, or help you see gaps you haven’t addressed.