As the speed of business continues to increase and projects become more complex, project managers need better tools to help them plan, implement, monitor project status and communicate effectively with team members and stakeholders – who are often geographically dispersed. Mind mapping software has emerged as a powerful tool that is particularly well-suited to project management.
“Today’s project managers have more to manage than just project scope, deliverables, communications and teams. They are also expected to manage large volumes of project-related data and to help team members and stakeholders work through project issues, risks and problems,” explains Paul Williams, author of the new book, Visual Project Management. “They need to be able to create visualizations that allow stakeholders to fully digest all that data in ways that are quick, effective and clear. These new expectations require new skills.”
Here are 12 ways in which mind mapping software can help you step up your project management game:
1. Mind mapping software can help you and your team team do a better job of defining the problem the project is being created to solve.
2. It can help you make more efficient and effective decisions on where to invest money and resources.
3. At the beginning of a project, mind mapping software enables you to brainstorm and organize all of the key information you and your team need about its scope, time, cost, quality, resources, communications, risks and stakeholder requirements.
4. It can help you clarify your thinking on what the project brief is all about, to find gaps in your knowledge and also in the information provided to you, note any points that may require clarification and set follow-ups to contact colleagues for the additional pieces of information they need.
5. Mind mapping software can help you tame a mountain of project information. It enables you to expand and collapse map branches and filter their contents, so you can zero in on the key bits of information that are most important to you at any given moment.
6. You can keep all of your research materials, notes, links and other documents well-organized as links in your project planning mind map. This keeps them one click away, and can save you hours of searching for them.
7. Mind mapping software that is equipped with project management tools enables you to manage the implementation of the project, acting as a concise, at-a-glance dashboard and project reference.
8. It’s the only type of business productivity software that enables you to see the forest AND the trees. In other words, you can view a project mind map at a high level, and also drill down into specific details such as task start and end dates, resources assigned to them and task dependencies.
9. A software-produced mind map foster a common language for conversations and discussions among the members of your project team. If team members have a shared vision of what needs to be done and why, they can implement faster, with fewer misunderstandings and less miscommunication.
10. It can help you streamline briefings for new team members. They can instantly see how all of the data points on the map interrelate, including the relative importance of each element and how it impacts the overall project.
11. For those project stakeholders who are comfortable with mind maps, they provide project status data in a concise, easily understandable format.
12. For those stakeholders who are not comfortable with mind maps, you can easily export project data to other popular formats, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Project.
It’s time to get off the fence
As you can see, the benefits of managing your projects with mind mapping software far outweigh the small learning curve you’ll need to go through to get proficient at it.
- Better decisions.
- Improved collaboration.
- Fewer delays and misunderstandings.
- Less scope creep.
- Happier stakeholders.
What business person doesn’t want these things?
Best of all, I can help you get started – fast.
Click here to learn about my new online course that will teach you everything you need to know to jump off the fence and get a running start on this important set of skills!
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