Mind Mapping Projects
I thought I would share another of the ways that I use mind mapping, to create a project plan. Mind Manager (my tool of choice) really lends itself to this because you can export a map to a Microsoft Project and synchronise changes. Although I don’t use the sync feature that much I find it far better for creating projects than Microsoft Project for the following reasons:
- Mind maps encourage you to think about the structure or shape of the project, it really is trivially easy to visualise even very complex projects and to merge and re-structure them as your understanding evolves
- If you are brainstorming a project, its MUCH easier for other team members to keep track of what you are doing in Mind Manager than it is in Project
- Mind maps use screen area much more effectively that one dimensional outlines so you get to see at least twice as much content, without suffering from information overload
- Its easier to jump around the mind map for example to show the whole map and then tunnel into an area of interest, and to resize the map so it fills the screen
- You can add icons, images etc, that provide visual queues to help you relate to the content, and you can add icons to represent additional dimensions to your map, for example priority, or to flag problem areas
- Its much easier to add rich text and link documents to your map, without adding clutter.
In summary as an Architect/Solution manager I tend to use mind maps to define the content and structure of a project, once that’s been brain stormed and reviewed, we export the map to Microsoft Project, add dependencies and resource types and then hand ownership over to the Project Manager who adds resources, milestones and administrative tasks.