I’ve written a few articles on mind mapping for project practitioners. It’s a tool I like using, both the old-fashioned variety i.e., a pen and paper and a more grown up approach when needed (I use MindGenius) The other day I was looking at some of the other functionality of the tool and stumbled on the project management side of it.
You can create a work breakdown structure
Mind mapping structure is the optimum layout for visualising the scope of your projects and creating a Work Breakdown Structure. Not only can you clearly see and communicate the full scope of your project, but you’ll also discover links, gaps and insights that a linear list of tasks just can’t provide.
Once you’ve got the hang of a tool like this I was pretty impressed at how easy it was to convert the mind map into something we instantly recognise in project management. It’s also easily exported too, so you can share it in whatever form you want.
You can also add costings to it
As you build your map, total cost and quantity calculations can be added to selected branches within the map. This nifty feature will allow for you to manage under and over allocation of resources throughout the project.
And then create the gantt chart
You can then automatically create Gantt charts from your map without re-typing any information. Assign resources, dates and estimates and identify vital project milestones and critical path. Maps can then be exported to automatically create MS Project or MS Excel plans.
The way I do planning today means MS Project is a bit of an overkill, I don’t need anything that complicated. And the fact that I can start in the way I like i.e., mindmapping, it’s been a bit of a revelation that I don’t need to actually do that much more work wise to get to a decent gantt chart.
I’ve not yet got my head around the project reporting functionality but it can create project reports with the click of a button from the data contained within your map. It gives an overall view of the project milestones, tasks report and project summaries. I’m still playing with it!
If you’re anything like me and like easy visual tools that take you from the very creative side – the mind mapping, through to the more structured gantt chart without having to leave the app, you might like it too. There is a free 30 day trial available via the website
*I’ve been using Mind Genius with a free licence from the company itself, I’m sharing this with you because I like it, no hard sell intended 🙂