Did you know that you can track simple business processes using your mind mapping software? It’d easier to do than you may think. Here’s how to set one up in 7 easy steps, no matter what program you use:
1. Create a right-facing mind map. In this orientation, the timeline runs from top to bottom, as shown in the image above (click for a larger version of the entire map). Place the steps of your process in order, from top to bottom.
2. Add any sub-tasks to these top level steps. It’s best to break large tasks down into their elements, so you don’t get overwhelmed when it’s time to implement them.
3. Add task information, such as start and end dates, resources (in this case, who will be doing the work) and percentage complete. This will help to reinforce the idea that you’re looking at a timeline, with a natural flow from old to new, top to bottom.
4. Enhance your process map with supporting information, such as topic notes and attachments. This is your way to keep this information just one click away and reduce clutter in your diagram.
5. Use a boundary to draw attention to the single most critical step in the process. If this doesn’t happen in a timely manner, the whole project is screwed.
6. If there are dependencies between process steps – in other words, step 1 must be completed before step 2 can begin – then add relationship lines to depict this (see image at right).
7. If you need to, utilize a floating topic to give your stakeholders any additional information – in this case, the people who will have roles in this project.
As you can see, the right-facing mind map is a very flexible tool for depicting what you need to get done.
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