In this post I look at why Project Management and Mind Mapping go so well hand in hand !
First, lets start by understanding when is a project successful ? Different meanings emerge for different stakeholders. Let’s look at the success criteria from the perspective of the three most important stakeholders in a project:
The customer wants a project completed on time, meeting or exceeding the quality requirements for the product or services and within the budget.
The Management , having the project ownership, first want the project to be within the budget as an important objective so that they are able to earn the planned margins. They would also want to have a well-satisfied customer, who is keen to give repeat orders. Finally, success for the management also means that the project team has added experience or skill, which would help their future businesses.
The Project Team’s Success lies in meeting or exceeding the customer needs. Additional success factors may include a stronger sense of bonding as a result of the project, enhanced technical/soft skills, new innovations during the project, and finally a sense of achievement of having created something new.
A quick look at the above list of success criteria indicates that there are both right (holistic, quality, team bonding, satisfaction, achievement etc.) and left brain characteristics (on time, budget, margins), which are necessary for the success of projects.
So if the project success criteria include both right & left brain elements, then why should project management tools also not possess similar characteristics? The traditional PM tools from the inception of the discipline of Project Management have displayed a strong left brain bias coupled with an overzealous focus on creating a product or service. Of course methodologies like Agile are steps in the right directions to break away from the traditional Project Management. However the need of the hour is to induce even more creative elements of the right brain to complete the whole picture of success.
So on one hand, we have the bride i.e. Mind Maps, a simple creativity enhancing tool, enables visual thinking, is holistic and organically organized whereas on the other hand we have the groom i.e. Project Management full of discipline, planning and details in his armor. Is the stage not set for a Perfect Marriage resulting in an explosion of execution and creativity?
A lot of project managers around the world are already injecting Mind Maps into their Project management techniques but do you know that there are opportunities galore for applying Mind Maps along the complete life cycle of a project from the project start to closure?