Mastering MindManager for Projects is an online course that does an excellent job of teaching the average business person how to create a customized and practical visual dashboard to manage your projects more effectively.
Even if you’ve done some project management using your mind mapping software, you will find something of value in Warren Arbuckle’s 2.5-hour video e-course, which is based on the principles of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) and focuses on the project life cycle (initiation, planning, execution & close out) in detail.
I recently had an opportunity to review Mastering MindManager for Projects, and was very impressed with its well-organized and practical approach, as well as the wealth of advice and resources the author has included in it.
What does MindManager 4 Projects contain?
The course, which contains 22 video lessons, begins by walking you through the user interface of MindManager, with a special emphasis on those that are used in project management. It then walks you through a step-by-step process for building and managing a project dashboard map.
At the end of each lesson, the course provides exercises for you to do, based upon a case study. Each of the these exercises utilizes MindManager to build a project dashboard – which enables you to put into action what you have learned in the course. The project dashboard can then be used as a customizable template to set up and run your own projects. This connects what you learned during training directly to the workplace.
As I watched the videos, I was impressed with Arbuckle’s practical style and clear presentation of the course materials. He makes an excellent and engaging narrator. Each lesson is easy to follow and delivers “just enough” information to teach you what you need to know. There’s no fluff here, no getting lost in tangential information. Arbuckle manages to maintain a laser-sharp focus on the task at hand: To teach you how to create a project managment dashboard map, customized to meet your needs, through step-by-step “how-to” content and a well-designed case study.
Who can benefit from Mastering MindManager for Projects?
This excellent e-course appears to be aimed at people who haven’t previously managed projects. The PM Overview lesson, for example, walks you through basic concepts and definitions of terms. It also highlights some of the most common challenges that project managers face – which, not surprisingly, are “soft” issues, such as team communication and clear up-front project definition.
Experienced project managers can also benefit from Mastering MindManager for Projects, because will empower them to take what they know and integrate it into a project dashboard mind map. Arbuckle points out that you can find many project-related template maps online, but until now there hasn’t been anyone to teach you HOW to properly set up a project and manage it effectively within a visual map.
Mastering MindManager for Projects is especially recommended for virtual teams – where members of your team are geographically dispersed. Often, far-flung teams develop communication problems because they miss out on many of the nuances of face-to-face communication. The project dashboard map becomes a common visual reference point that everyone can use, regardless of their culture, to build consensus and shared understanding – which helps keep projects on track, on time and on budget.
Do you need to own MindManager to benefit from this e-course? It would help, but it’s not absolutely necessary. The principles and techniques that Arbuckle outlines in Mastering MindManager for Projects can adapted to most other high-end mind mapping software programs that have project management capabilities.
Why should you invest in this program?
Arbuckle’s credentials are impressive:
- He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
- His company, Focus Cubed Inc, is approved by the Project Management Institute to develop and deliver courses for product management professionals.
- He has been training people from various cultures and industries in project management, innovation and sales for over 25 years.
- In the 1990s, he was certified by Tony Buzan to teach mind mapping, and he has been using mind mapping software for over 8 years.
Mastering MindManager for Projects summarizes the best of what he has learned and experienced in training and managing global projects. In short, Arbuckle knows what he’s talking about – and, more importantly, he’s able to communicate it clearly and in a well-organized format to you (click here to read my interview with him).
This e-course is based upon techniques and processes developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBok), a global set of PM guidelines. In essence, it’s a common global “language” of best practices for managing projects. In other words, Mastering MindManager for Projects is based on a rock-solid pedigree. You’ll get excellent value for your investment in it.
Mastering MindManager for Projects is US$97 for the entire course (22 online videos plus 2 bonus videos); if you are a professional project manager and want 10 PDU points for certification, it will run you $147.
Videos can be viewed for up to 1 year using a Macintosh with OS X and QuickTime installed or a Windows PC running XP SP2 or later and Windows Media Player installed. I also noticed when I looked at the curriculum for this course that it is now available in an Apple iPad format – nice!
If your work involves managing projects of any kind, I urge you to invest in this worthwhile training program. You’ll be glad you did!