Thursday, 19 June 2014

6 Uses for Mind Mapping in Business

Whatever your pre-conceptions, or even misconceptions, of Mind Mapping, it is now becoming truly embedded as a real value-adding approach in many aspects of planning and working throughout the business and education sectors. The added power of mind mapping software such as MindGenius has propelled this methodology into the all-important efficiency and productivity arenas.
Through the utilisation of Mind Mapping in your organisation or business (particularly through the adoption of MindGenius business mind mapping software) you are able to:

• Capture and visualise ideas, knowledge and information easier and quicker
• Reduce “information overload” dramatically
• Gain better understanding of the mapped topic or subject matter
• Save time and effort in planning and execution of tasks and projects
• Capture, enhance, improve and communicate processes
• Have better focus and clarity on all tasks, activities, plans, strategies, projects, etc. and much more…..

There are many wide and varied uses, applications, not to mention tangible benefits and productivity gains to be realised from the application of mind mapping in a business context.
This document outlines 6 main uses…

(Map created using MindGenius business mind mapping software)

1. Planning and Analysis
Mind Mapping enables you to quickly capture and visualize the various strands of your Plan.
The parent / child Branch relationships, together with the “drill-down” methodology, provides a visual and highly effective methodology for dividing topics, layering each level of detail, ordering or grouping and getting structure and hierarchy in terms of analysing the information.
The engaging and visual process of Mapping provides structure, flow and aids clarity and understanding of the captured information (as a whole or in its component parts).
MindGenius provides the substantial additional benefit of being able to Categorise and Filter for parameters such as Priorities, Importance, Risk, etc, as well as being able to apply Resources and Timescales – all improving the time and effort spent trying to understand and analyse the information and introducing more momentum and efficiency to moving through the whole “plan/analyse/decide/do” process.

This methodology can be applied to any personal, business or strategic planning, objective setting, research, analysis of information/data, “to-do” lists, as well as many uses in education and learning.

2. Capturing Knowledge & Information
One of the major strengths of using Mind Mapping for capturing knowledge and information around any given topic is the clarity and focus that the capture and visualisation interface provides.
The Mind Mapping methodology provides structure, linkages, relationships, as well as the ability to tackle the initial capture stage from a “blank sheet” perspective, or map out a skeleton structure to guide the process.
Maps are a great way to read, assimilate and gain understanding on a range of topics, plans, problems, projects, research work, learning and revision, etc. Mapping also helps with reducing “information overload” that sometimes gets in the way of understanding, decision-making and generally moving forward.
The added value and benefit of utilising MindGenius software includes the ability to add Notes to branches; link to documents and URLs; Navigate large maps easily with Map Explorer; Categorise branches to aid decision making, analysis and prioritisation; Filtering; Export to MS Office applications, etc.

3. Project Management
The mapping methodology really excels at the crucial “front-end” Planning stage of Project Management – providing an ideal format and layout for capturing the hierarchy, structure and order of all tasks and activities that form the project requirements or “Work Breakdown Structure”.
MindGenius software provides the platform to go further than Planning, providing the functionality to Schedule, Monitor, Manage and Report. It enables you to brainstorm the project requirements in a highly engaging and visual way. The integral Gantt functionality (or export to MS Project) provides the easy and intuitive format to allocate Resources, Start Dates, Durations, End Dates, Interdependencies, Constraints, etc. Built-in Filtering, export and significant reporting capability provides further efficiency, visibility and management capability to monitor and manage through the whole project lifecycle.
4. Action & Task Management
Bringing clarity and focus to meetings, discussions or any other situation where the “What / Who / When” needs to be clear, well-defined and communicated – that’s where the use of mind mapping really does add value.  Easily and quickly mapping out the Actions, assigning ownership and committing to timescales / deadlines, all contributing to a visual representation of agreed actions and outcomes.
MindGenius allows quick and easy mapping of Actions and then the dynamic application of Resources and Due Dates. The further advantage of being able to communicate Tasks through , for example, the synchronisation with MS Outlook, combined with Filtering capability for Resources and Dates, provide a truly beneficial method for agreeing, allocating and managing Tasks – another example of  a more efficient and productive way of working.

5. Prioritising & Decision Making
Mind Mapping enables not only the effective, visual way of capturing ideas, knowledge and information, but also to create structure, hierarchy and order – particularly useful if you need to get to a point of identifying priorities or needing to arrive at well-informed decisions.
Again the visual aspect is a huge benefit, as is the breakdown and drill-down effect that aids understanding and negates potential “information overload”.
The usefulness and efficiency that the use of Map structuring, navigation, Categories, Filters, etc, brings via the application of MindGenius further improves and enhances the whole process.
It also provides a vehicle for communicating and presenting the actual “information journey” as well as the outcomes with clarity and focus.
6. Effective Meeting Management

Again, mapping brings more clarity and focus to each stage of the effective meeting process – from planning, the actual meeting itself, on to assigning priorities, actions and timescales and through to monitoring and managing agreed outcomes and actions to completion.
MindGenius software provides the intuitive and easy-to-use interface to map and manage the whole end-to-end meeting management process – the purpose/objectives, planning, execution stage, follow-up and close out. This is achieved through: easy and quick capturing of all information; sorting and grouping for hierarchy, structure and related topics; Categories and Filtering as/if required for priorities, decisions; allocation of Resources for Task ownership; allocation of Due Dates; Task status and progress monitoring; synchronisation with MS Outlook; and many more ways to simplify and provide clarity and focus at all stages – a really visual and productive way of working!

Other Uses:

The “6 Uses” above are of course only some of the many wide and varied personal and business uses for Mind Mapping and MindGenius. When you think of the underpinning methodology and processes afforded by the powerful combination of the technique and the software, it opens up a whole new dimension for creativity and productivity enhancements in many aspects of day-to-day tasks and activities, e.g…

• Brainstorming
• Problem solving
• Risk analysis
• Objective setting
• Learning, study and revision
• Research
• Change management
• Creative thinking tools and techniques
and more…

If you haven’t already done so, please take a serious look at using MindGenius for any or all of the above situations in your day-to-day work. If you require help or assistance there are numerous resources both within the MindGenius Help and within the Resources section of our website
We also provide advice and professional training and consultancy services to help you get the most out of MindGenius and its application for many business and education uses.
Contact us anytime on, we’d be delighted to help!

Author Bio: Jamie MacDonald, Head of Client Development at MindGenius. Jamie is a highly experienced trainer, facilitator and coach with over 20 years’ experience in training, development, HRM and business improvement.


Miah Charley said...

nice post

Bernard Faughey said...

Good to see that MindGenius is still going strong. This post clearly outlines the many business benefits of the tool; over and above the many educational benefits we have been enjoying for many years now. Keep up the good word!

MindGenius said...

Thanks for your positive comments Miah and Bernard!

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