Markus Kopko is a project management professional on a mission: To help project managers be more effective by utilizing mind mapping software in ways that are aligned with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK). To do this, he has created a training and template framework that he calls MP4PM – MindmaPping for Project Management.
On the eve of its launch on September 24, 2019, I asked Markus to provide us with an overview of MP4PM: What it consists of, who can benefit from it and what’s next for this ambitious project.
Chuck Frey: What is your professional background, Markus?
Markus Kopko: I have more than 20 years of management and leadership experience, including more than 18 years in project and program management. I have proven the success of project management in the areas of IT services and outsourcing. I have led teams of more than 60 management and non-management resources and project teams involving contractors, suppliers, executives and external consultants.
Over the past 18 years, my focus has been on project and program management as well as PMO. The skills I have developed as a project manager and PMO leader in IT services and outsourcing have led to a passion for PMI’s project management philosophy. In August 2015 I obtained the PMP certification of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Currently, my accreditation is valid until August 2024.
Frey: How long have you run the Projectmanagement.plus website?
Kopko: The experiences I made as an aspirant for the PMP exam have led me to want to help other PMP candidates because ultimately every PMP candidate faces the same questions at the beginning of his preparations.
This consideration led to the foundation of www.projectmanagement.plus about 4 years ago.
The intention of this site is to help other PMP candidates to find their way through the PMP preparation jungle.
Frey: It sounds like you’re pretty passionate about project management, correct?
Kopko: Yeah, Chuck, absolutely, that’s me. Because it’s a very complex and challenging field, which offers a lot of variety, but also a lot of challenges.
When I came into contact with the topic of project management at the end of the 90s and then shortly afterward with the PMI and the PMBoK Guide, it was like a revelation for me and it quickly became clear to me that I would like to do this. Maybe even for the rest of my professional life.
Frey: How have you used mind mapping software in your career?
Kopko: Well, shortly after I had started with project management, I got in touch with the topic mind mapping and MindManager, because a colleague at that time used it. Also here I was fascinated by the possibility and I started to integrate mind mapping wherever possible into my daily PM work or to use it for various tasks. Even then I started to think about how mind mapping could best be used for the respective PM processes. But I still had a lot to learn … 😉
To make things even more difficult, the use of mind mapping and MindManager was quickly put into a drawer by colleagues and customers or other stakeholders and mostly dismissed as a “gimmick.
Nevertheless, I have tried again and again since then to establish mind mapping in my projects and to convince the stakeholders involved of the benefits of what I have succeeded in doing here and there, I think.
Frey: What made you decide to create MP4PM?
Kopko: Well, the more experienced I became and the more knowledge about project management and mind mapping I could acquire, the more this idea matured in me that mind mapping could more or less be instrumentalized for all PM processes.
I started to develop mind maps for the respective processes and at the same time also suitable templates and – where possible – tools. The use of MindManager is very convenient for me here because its features are designed for use in the project management environment. Of course, there are also other good mind mapping tools and finally, the maps from MP4PM can be processed and applied with other tools.
I thought about the best way to let “like-minded” project managers participate in MP4PM. And although I know it’s a niche, I think there’s quite a large community out there that might be interested. This is also shown by the feedback I’ve received so far.
And since I’m not only interested in the maps and the tools and templates, but also in building up a community of such “like-minded” professionals, I finally decided on a membership model.
Frey: What tools and resources does MP4PM contain?
Kopko: Well, the main content will consist of pre-structured mind maps and matching templates for each of the relevant project management processes (according to the current PMBoK Guide of the PMI, these are 49 processes). In addition, we will supplement checklists, quizzes, worksheets and the like where appropriate. In addition, there will be a library of videos explaining, for example, the use and handling of maps and templates.
With the MP4PM framework, we have a kind of roadmap that guides the user step-by-step through all processes, whereby the freedom and flexibility to concentrate only on those processes that one needs at any time is guaranteed.
Later, online courses on individual aspects (such as the creation of a WBS) and the like are also planned.
It is of course also a hope to further develop MP4PM with and for the community.
For example, I could well imagine extending MP4PM in the medium term to include other aspects – beyond pure project management; a concrete example of this would be business analysis.
Frey: Who should invest in MP4PM? Experienced project managers who want to know how to use mind mapping software for project management, or non-project managers who want to get smarter about project management?
Kopko: Both are conceivable and possible, and both can benefit from MP4PM. Experienced project managers can surely use the available resources faster. But MP4PM can also be used as a learning tool for project management.
In any case, our target group are professionals and ambitious, but in any case serious users.
Frey: What is unique about MP4PM compared to other mind mapping software project management training?
Kopko: Well, that’s a bit of a difficult question for me and I think it will show in the near future once we have launched and hopefully a community develops.
But first of all, MP4PM is not a training, not in the classic sense. Of course, you can – and should – train and develop your skills with it, but it’s not a training or online course in the classical sense.
Of course I’ve thought a lot and got a lot of feedback, but in the end, I’ve developed something that makes sense from my point of view. It remains to be seen whether this will actually be appreciated. In any case, there is nothing comparable to my research so far.
But my big hope is that the highly professional and mutually supporting community will become the most important unique selling point of MP4PM. That’s what I will work for.
Frey: How important is it that this type of training follows the guidelines of the PMBoK?
Kopko: Well, the PMBoK is common sense and is based on the expertise and experience of a large number of long-standing experts from all over the world. It is recognized and proven knowledge and I believe it makes every sense in the world to align with MP4PM.
But as the PM Body of Knowledge evolves and adapts to the ever faster-changing PM reality, so will MP4PM evolve and adapt.
Frey: I opened up a few lessons and read the mind maps and Word document containing the lessons. They are very thorough and well organized.
Kopko: Thank you so much, Chuck. Means a lot to me to hear that from such an expert in the field of mind mapping.
Frey: What does MP4PM membership cost?
Kopko: We will start at a very low price offer to all of the members on the waiting list; so everybody who is interested in receiving this offer should register now for the waiting list (no obligations).
After that pre-launch, we will proceed with the public launch and with about 20% of the main content. And therefore also with a price which will be about 20% of the final price ( it is not finally decided by now, but we will start with somewhat about $10 per month).
We will then enhance the content from time to time and we will increase the price accordingly to that updates. So, it makes sense to join as early as possible, cause the price you gain once will not increase for you, even after the content updates.
Frey: How can the readers of this blog learn more about it?
Kopko: Well, that is easy. Just go to
You will find a lot of information there; also a short introduction video and in addition you can download the MP4PM Project Charter Package for free. That gives you an impression on what you can expect from MP4PM.