Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mind Mapping for Project Managers

Sometimes I am asked about the software I use for managing projects. The answer to this is that I use a lot of software! I use different software for different purposes and the software I use may change depending on the project that I'm working on and the sort of project management expectations there are for that project. If someone were to ask me the question 'if you could choose only one software application for project management then what would it be' then I would have no hesitation in saying Mind mapping software.

Mind mapping software is by far the most fun, versatile and simple. I use mind mapping software for many key areas in project management. I have listed some of the applications of mind mapping software for you to consider:

Project Planning - a product breakdown structure diagram is usually one of the first things I create for a project. Providing a graphical representation of the deliverable items in a project is extremely useful. Mind mapping applications allow you to lay out the project deliverables in a hierarchical manner, include project activities or tasks and then export these to create the initial project plan

Project Reporting - reporting to a project committee or project board using a mind map is always well received. Mind maps allow addition of graphical icons and indicators to show status.

Meeting notes - creating a mind map on the fly is fast and easy - which is just perfect in a meeting situation. Better still, you can export your map to a text based format in a flash and there are your meeting minutes completed before you have even left the meeting. What a great time saver!

These are just a few of the uses of mind mapping software that can help you with achieving project management success. There are certainly many more - consider issue management, risk management and recording of quality acceptance criteria for project deliverables.

There are some great commercial packages out there but if you look around on the net you'll find there are some equally great free packages - yes, one of my favourites is a free application! So look around and try out mind mapping if you haven't yet discovered it. It really has changed the way I create project documents.

Video: Premium Quality Project Management with Mind Maps

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