5 Uses of Mind Mapping in Project Planning

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Wouldn't it be great if all projects achieved everything that you set out to do?

In reality, getting to this endpoint requires organisation, planning and communication among other things. This article will give you the 5 benefits of mind mapping when planning and executing a project.

 

Brainstorming

The first stage of any project is the initial idea. Whether that is generating new ideas or getting all the relevant project information, brainstorming is the answer. Brainstorming sessions are designed to encourage participants to think aloud and voice as many ideas as they can, including all crazy and outlandish thoughts.

The purpose, simple, to get as many ideas as possible.

This process has always been popular as it allows you to think more freely and be creative with your thoughts. Getting everything out of your head and then rearranging the ideas later, allows for a great overview of the whole project. Mind mapping is a great tool for this, enabling you to arrange your ideas creatively to develop the project scope.  Quickly note taking your initial ideas and sharing the map with other team members allows for a collaborative approach, where others can input ideas. With real-time updates, team members don’t even need to be in the same location.

 

Meeting Management

Instead of wasting time writing notes and capturing ideas, create a mind map to cover the minutes from the meeting – this takes less time and will convey the information more efficiently. Mind mapping is an excellent tool for team collaboration to develop and implement ideas when planning a project. Using mind maps in a meeting allows for an easy way to creatively view information in an easy way, which is designed to spark the imagination of the team.

Struggling with meetings that are unfocused and don’t resolve issues?

Mind mapping is the answer.

Recording the meeting and discussion notes while creatively planning the project. You can then easily add the team members to the mind map, if you haven’t done so already, to share the same piece of information with everyone. The maps can be used in various ways from setting meeting agendas to planning the next meeting and the content covered. This process ensures everyone has the same notes, and working from the same information gathered during the meeting.

   

Action/Task Planning

Team accountability is a driver for success for the results within a project. Managers should lead the team towards the goals and objectives and assign responsibilities to each person. Having an area where managers can communicate responsibilities and hold the team accountable will help keep the project on track.

When delegating tasks to team members, mangers need to be able to communicate change.

You should also make sure that each team member understands their role in the project and how their work impacts others and the project. By sharing the mind map of the overall project, team members can get an overview of the whole process. This process allows you to view the same information but from a different perspective with aid of the map. Mind Maps can also be used to set clear goals and objectives and then easily turned into a timeline. You can monitor the progress of the project through task management.

  

Communication

 Having poor communication in a team is a big issue for managers when planning a project, as it can affect all aspects. Successful project planning requires clear goals and objectives to be identified and communicated. However, this is not always done, which results in the team and the project suffering or failing. Communicating clear structured goals and objectives to team members is key as it is used to measure the success rate of the project.

So why ignore something so simple, yet important?

Using mind maps, you can clearly define what the goals of the project are, and by adding team members to the map. Feedback can also be directly added to tasks quickly and simply saving multiple emails being be sent. You can also communicate what the goals and objectives of the project are to ensure clarity among all the team members.

 A team’s responsibilities, goals, deadlines etc. can be misunderstood or forgotten about completely with poor communication. You must ensure that effective means of communication are in place before the start of a project especially if the team is across different locations.

How do I improve communication?

Mind mapping will improve project communication as documents can be uploaded onto the map to ensure everyone is working from the same one, in real time. Easily interacting with other team members from within the map will also ensure a good flow of communication. Managers should empower their team members by putting emphasis on the importance of sharing information on concerns and obstacles, and asking for help when required.

  

Reporting

Writing reports for project planning or updates can be a mundane and stressful task. Sifting through notes, emails, documents and spreadsheets to find all the necessary information can be a laborious task.

How do I make writing project reports easier?

 Using a mind map not only increases the speed of this process but makes it more efficient. Updating the mind map as you go with progress updates, resources, task board updates and adding files means all of your information is in one easy to reach place. This in itself makes the whole process simpler, however you can go one step further and export the whole map to Microsoft Word.

How great is that?