Tuesday, 17 May 2011

MindGenius and the Consensus Workshop Method

Steve Rothwell is the creator of the Peace of Mind Blog which discusses practical applications of mind mapping, idea mapping and visual mapping. This week he looked at how to apply MindGenius to the Consensus Workshop Method:

One of the unique features of MindGenius mind mapping software is it's ability to analyse ideas according to categories and to restructure maps or views of those ideas automatically. This feature is a great way of implementing the consensus workshop method electronically.

The five steps of the consensus workshop (as developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs) method are:

1. Set the context - introduce the focus question
2. Brainstorm the ideas
3. Cluster the ideas
4. Name the idea clusters
5. Review and action

Using MindGenius, the focus question becomes the central topic or idea.

The ideas are brainstormed, collected and consolidated as they are added to the map.

The ideas are clustered using categories feature, available from the "Analyze" tab - you can use a default set provided or create your own category group.

From here, create a new map with the ideas clustered by selecting the "Create Category Map".

Using this new map as a basis you can work to name the clusters. Add the names by editing the level one topics.

As an alternative, once the cluster names are agreed, return to the original map - the one with the brainstormed ideas. From the "Analyze" tab, now select "Edit Categories". Amend the categories used in your map, replacing the original identifiers with the cluster names. Once completed, select "Create Category Map" and this time the resulting cluster map contains the cluster names in the level one topics.

You could now go on to assign dates and resources to the ideas, creating a simple action plan.

As part of the documentation step, you can export the map to Excel or Word to provide an additional record of the workshop or to provide the basis for further definition.

Download a free 30 day trial of MindGenius or access Steve’s blog at http://vismap.blogspot.com/

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