Mind Mapping Your Way to Success

“Project management deals in organized chaos”. This quote immediately caught my eye when looking for a project management article to share.  After seeing projects unfold both at work and in class, I could not agree more with the accuracy of this statment.  This article is called “8 Ways a Mind Map Can Declutter Your Project Management” by Rob Marvin.

The article begins to describe what a mind map is and why we use them.  This goes right along with our class as we have been practicing mind maps with a few different activities including the wedding plan and the employment plan.  To refresh, these are the maps that have arrows pointing to the next topic or agenda item and are similar to a flow chart or matrix.

Let me first list lay out the ways a mind map can declutter your project and then I will go into a few of my favorite recommendations that I feel are most helpful.

1.) Professional Doodling
2.) A presentation Tool
3.) Brainstorming Sessions
4.) Task Delegation
5.) A Master Idea Repository
6.) Symbol Shorthand
7.) A Living Workflow
8.) Integrating Your Solutions

I believe all of these tools are very helpful and a great refresher when considering a mind map.  I will describe my top 3.

First, I think #4 Task Delegation is critical to mind mapping.  When organizing a projects tasks, this should be considered in all aspects of the mind map.  Effectively delegating tasks on the mind map will make a project flow efficiently.

Second, I liked the idea of #7, creating the living workflow.  This is something we did in our RFI’s and I think it is something that the project manager needs to keep a close eye on as the project progresses.  A living workflow is described as a visual representation of a project and it lays out all the moving parts of the project in a chronological order.  This allows the project manager to track progress and milestones.

Last, I believe #3 the Brainstroming Sessions are critical to the success of a project.  Not only does this help in coming up with different routes to achieve a goal, but it also makes people feel as if they contributed.  A project is likely to have more success if a team buys into the project tasks and isn’t just following something that a manager told them to do.

What steps do you think are important?

Are there any ways that this article didn’t mention that you thought it should have?


4 thoughts on “Mind Mapping Your Way to Success

  1. Hi TJ – I liked reading your post and how you related it to the in class group activities. I believe I relate to your top three as well. I really enjoy brainstorming activities because it gives everyone a chance in the team to just let loose with their ideas. Sometimes I find that someone will take the lead and the project will become their idea then, which makes everyone else feel like they shouldn’t give anymore input. I also appreciate task delegation because that way everyone knows who’s responsible for what. We do that in our office and then have at least two backups for each task, in case the main person is out of the office. It’s a nice way to make people accountable.

  2. Great article TJ, your a great brainstormer. I love brainstorming it raises so many light bulbs and gives every person in the group to share an idea to piggy back off of. Project management is a great way of mind mapping your way to success. Delegation and request for ideas are so important that gives everyone another way to speak up and share ideas. A lot of our project management exercises tie great with this subject of mind mapping your way to success. My top three are 3, 4, 8. focusing more on critical success of the project goals!

  3. Great article TJ. Agreed, a living workflow is essential to keeping track of progress, marking down the milestones. Measurable goals are needed to inspire the project team complete their tasks in a timely manner, but they also offer the opportunity for reward when the team reaches a particular milestone (if not simply the gratification of progress made).

    I picked a few different methods. Everyone should be a professional doodler! Pictures are often more memorable than words. Your own creations will increase comprehension and even excite you more than reading someone else’s typed words. I wish that this method was more accepted in business circles. Along a similar thought, symbol shorthand can be quite useful to speed up the planning process and serves as an excellent memory tool. Group-created shorthand requires the involvement and agreement of members on the symbols, perpetual collaboration and “buy-in” into a project. However, I believe these visual methods are particularly better fit to certain personalities, as are all methods.

  4. TJ this is an interesting article. I am a big believer in #3 (Brainstorming Sessions) and #4 (Task Delegation). Brainstorming is important for a team to conduct. It gets everyone involved, and makes everyone feel part of the team. In the end everyone will have a sense of ownership for the entire project. In regards to “Task Delegation”, everyone needs to take ownership; therefore I believe that everyone on the team should own a piece of the project and contribute a deliverable. I agree with you that task delegation on the mind map is critical because it allows the entire team to visually see what is their individual contribution to the overall project.

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