MindManager and “Business Mapping”
For many business professionals, Mindjet MindManager 2016 for Windows is the perfect productivity software to reach for whenever you wish to extract knowledge and/or thinking about a given topic or scenario. The ability to quickly record your thoughts/ideas onto an electronic canvas, categorise them, organise them into a meaningful structure and/or process flow and then share them with colleagues or export them into another application is a truly empowering activity.
The resulting content of the diagram generated by MindManager is clearly based on “Mind Mapping”, but in most cases the output is extended on many levels and as such becomes something more advanced, powerful and meaningful to those other than the creator. It becomes what I call a Business Map.
So why do we care what it’s called??If you’re an enthusiastic MindManager user, you may well find yourself explaining the benefits to colleagues. And, when you are introducing MindManager or trying to increase its adoption in an organization, you may meet more success using the term “business map” rather than trying to describe how MindManager lets you create so much more than “mind maps”.
Generally speaking a mind map is a visual representation of the author’s thinking and/or knowledge around a key topic or scenario. Great place to start. However, as you add more words to your topic text and you introduce more functional elements into your map it may contain hyperlinked information, task attributes such as start dates and end dates, priorities and resources, calculations, charts or graphs. It may even be connected to an external data source such as Microsoft® SharePoint® or an Excel® spreadsheet.
There is also a very good chance the layout of your map will take the form of a right/left tree or org. chart, as these formats introduce a natural structure and more defined flow for the reader of the map. You may also have produced a Concept Map or Flowchart. Once you have reached this point you are beyond mind mapping and into what I call “Business Mapping”. Business Mapping incorporates mind mapping, flowcharting, concept mapping, process mapping, brainstorming and more. It encompasses the practical methods used by professionals to visualise information and turn that into knowledge across an organisation.
Changing the term(s) to something that will help users understand the breadth of features plays a big first step in the successful adoption of MindManager in a business/organization. The capabilities MindManager offers as a business mapping, productivity and planning software means that it’s really an application for mapping your business, its processes, people and resources.