In the last few years, more developers have added collaboration capabilities to their mind mapping software. These tools take different forms, reflecting the different models of work that people do. Here are some of the scenarios enabled by these programs:
- Produce a mind map and send it to others for review. The mind map keeps track of who made which edits and added which comments to the map.
- A centralized mind map repository within a secure web environment serves as the center point for collaboration. Maps produced on the desktop are uploaded to this space, where other team members can access them, work on them and then save an updated version to the shared work space. Everyone on the team has a licensed copy of the same mind mapping software.
- A mind map is created on the desktop, then shared online. Team members can access the map from this repository in a number of ways, potentially including a licensed desktop mind mapping program, a web-based mapping application and mobile devices such as an iPad or iPhone.
- Small teams can do real-time co-editing of mind maps – sort of an online brainstorming session, where the mind map is used to capture everyone’s ideas. The program tracks who made which additions and edits.
- A mind map is stored in a shared directory on your company’s file server, where each team member can access it, edit it, add comments and then re-save it to the network. It’s low-tech, but it works.
- A mind map can “push” task updates to Sharepoint, and vice versa.
What’s happening in your work environment in terms of small team collaboration? Please share your comments below in answer to these questions:
- What are you doing now for collaboration?
- What would you ideally like to be able to do with your team?
- Is your team all in one location, or geographically dispersed?
- Do you need to be able to collaborate with people outside of your organization, such as consulting firms, vendors and clients?
If any of your stories are particularly interesting, I may want to interview you for more details for a future blog post. I really want to shed some light on this aspect of using mind mapping software.
I look forward to your insights!