Sunday, 2 August 2009

Using MindGenius for Management Strategy

We all agree that Mind Maps are great for summarizing information, but what may not be so obvious is the benefits mind mapping can bring when we are working with large amounts of information or building understanding. I am just back from an offsite strategy meeting with our management team, and it’s incredible what we managed to cover in a day – all with one map, which will form the basis of action plans in the short term and ultimately be the baseline for review at the next meeting.

To try and explain, once each quarter six of us spend the day reflecting on what we set out to achieve in the previous quarter, what has actually been achieved and address any shortfalls. From there we access the current situation and then look to plan for the future, always trying to ensure that we are aligning our activities, projects and actions to our short, medium and long term objectives.

We discuss in details financial performance this year to date, revenue streams, channel partners and strategies, the user base, HR needs, succession planning, leadership programs, scalability across all operations, recruitment needs - even social activities to bond our teams together.

We review our 5 year plan at high level, 3 year plans in a bit more detail, focusing on revenue streams that are emerging or diminishing, looking at product portfolio opportunities and put in place research plans to give us the intelligence to make the right decisions further down the road.

We then spend a significant amount of time and energy planning out the 18 months in front of us. We look closely at the development roadmap and the internal projects required to help us achieve our objectives. We look at what needs done in research, development, marketing, sales, professional services, customer care, IT infrastructure and facilities to support what we aim to achieve and prioritize what projects to focus on in the coming 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, etc.

We cover a lot. We capture the essence of what has been discussed as we go throughout the day using a MindGenius map. We also identify and assign what actions are required to progress each element to its next stage and agree those as we go along. It allows us to feed what we have discussed into our backlog of projects to do, or directly into our projects meeting if it needs to be addressed with a degree of urgency. In essence nothing is lost – every decision from that day is captured, worked upon and evaluated regularly and ultimately feeds back into the next strategy meeting where we assess whether the outcomes from the activities delivered what we set out to achieve.

MindGenius allows us to summarise the information as we go, and jump backwards and forwards between disparate information. The MindGenius Map Explorer allows us to focus in on any section of the map and discuss it in more detail. At the end of the day, we can look at a “Level 1” view of the map which allows us to reflect upon the key points we have discussed that day. And at the end of the meeting no one has the onerous task of writing up disjointed and difficult to decipher notes as we have produced the working document throughout the course of the day.

So by summarizing information as we go along and using the power of the MindGenius Map Explorer, we are able to focus on any specific topic in isolation and develop upon it, providing us with a single point of reference to make sure we are delivering what we set out to achieve and cross-checking that what we have done is delivering the results we desire.

I think that alone would be impractical if not impossible without MindGenius.

Donald Maciver, Director at Gael Ltd and MindGenius

Has anyone else undertaken a strategy session with MindGenius? Is there anything else you would like to know about undertaking such a day with MindGenius?


Mark Allcock said...

Would be great to see how this map looks so we can learn from te technique

Unknown said...

I would like to be able to export this data as a gant chart. What chances in an update?

DerekJ said...

I will see if Donald can sanitize some of the more confidential information from the map and post it on a future blog

DerekJ said...

Dave, would the Export to MS Project in the product at the moment work for you?

We are also looking at an export to MS Excel which may help.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I've the nearly the same request. We've problems exporting to excwel and word. Would you be so kind and give me support?

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