“A project is all about creation & managing projects demands creativity”
With the release of my book “Mind Maps for Effective Project Management“ my friends, colleagues, project managers and potential authors have been frequently asking me three common questions. I hence thought that this would be a good forum to share my thoughts on the following:
- Why this Book?
- What does the book offer to a eader, especially to the PM Community?
- How did you write it?
Before I answer the questions, let me quickly introduce Mind Maps to the uninitiated.
A Mind Map is a simple creativity enhancing “thinking” tool based on principles, which help our brain learn and create better. A Mind Map mimics the radiant characteristic found so often in nature, and most importantly in our brain, which is quite contrary to the linear way in which we tend to focus on reality. Millions of people across the globe are using Mind Maps in infinite ways leading to enhanced individual and resultant organizational effectiveness.
WHY THIS BOOK?
It was sometime end 2013 that I decided to write a book, which would bring together two subjects I am extremely passionate about: Mind Maps and Project Management. Being a first time author, the journey did seem long but as someone has said “A thousand miles journey begins with the first step” and a 30,000 words book must start with the first word. But no– even before I penned down the first word, I worked on a Mind Map answering the 5W and 1H question for each of the branches. (more details about this is available at http://inlightenconsultancy.com/my-first-book-using-mind-maps/). This gave me sufficient clarity, and more importantly, the much needed confidence to start my book.
The strongest motive for this book is to share knowledge, which I strongly believe stands to:
- Help a large number of people and organizations manage projects better;
- Create a new and more effective pedigree of Project Management techniques;
- Maximise opportunities for mind mapping while managing projects;
And of course personal reasons like recognition and money are important. Such clarity in “WHY” has the power to motivate and help overcome obstacles that may come in the way of any such initiative.
WHAT DOES THE BOOK OFFER TO A READER, ESPECIALLY TO THE PM COMMUNITY?
Excerpts From the book:
“There are innumerable publications, which address the discipline of Project Management both as an art and a science. This is the perfect harmony, which would enable a creative endeavor like a Project to flourish. Even a cursory look, however, at the Project Management Models and Techniques would reveal more shades of logic and reasoning than the intuitiveness or creativity, which an artist brings to his canvas. Why is this so?”
The Book is about how Mind Maps, a deceptively simple creativity enhancing tool, can be used in managing projects better by bringing in the missing elements of wholistic, intuitive and creative thinking. Mind Maps are in fact already being used by Project Managers extensively across the globe, albeit in a scattered way. The purpose of this Book is to systematically showcase and uncover Mind Mapping opportunities along the project life cycle.
The book starts by challenging the fundamental definition of a project and re-defines a Project as:
“….. a creative endeavour to build a product or service engaging all the stakeholders meaningfully thus exceeding or meeting the expectations of the end customer”.
The Book begins with a quick introduction of the common frameworks of Project Management and the principles of Mind Mapping. It also draws on parallels between nature and these two subjects. At the core of the book, however, are the mind map opportunities presented for the three broad phases of any project: Project Initiation or Start, Project Execution or the Middle and finally the Closing.
With the purchase of every Book, you also get access to the soft copy of 40 Mind Mapping templates, which are contained in the book. This would help even those new to Mind Mapping to kick start their journey of Mind Mapping right away and in the right way!!
Another excerpt from the book:
“Various recent PM frameworks are constantly making Project Management lean in terms of the artifacts requirements and a bit more people than product centric. But are these enough for creativity to bloom? Maybe not. Still somewhere the basic success principle of a project hinges on Time, being within Budget and full of Quality whereas if the emphasis is put on nurturing relationships, success would follow almost automatically. And when we talk of relationship, it is not just about the association between team members but also how the team members relate or engage with the project.
No creative product has ever been made without a deep and continuous engagement of the individuals or team with the project cause. We are at our best when we are fully engaged in a subject. We hence only need to be equipped with the means to nurture engagement and creativity would follow. And this is the gap which Mind Maps seek to fill in the world of Project Management.”
The book offers a number of Mind Mapping ideas, which I believe have the potential to transform and redefine the Project Management discipline. The book is but a humble first step in this direction.
Finally, HOW DID I WRITE THIS BOOK?
Mind Maps, of course, helped me throughout the progression of this Book. Firstly, a Mind Map helped me architect the top level structure of the book. This was followed by detailed Mind Maps for each of the chapters. I used a mix of both hand and software (using iMindMap software) drawn mind maps, which helped structure, clarify and detail my thoughts at every stage of the Book.
While writing the Book there were of course iterations constantly taking place in the Mind Map but all the same this simple thinking tool helped me remain grounded to the core message that I wanted to convey in each of the chapters. Having written this book using Mind Maps extensively, I can confidently state that anybody aspiring to become a book author would find Mind Maps an indispensable tool.
WHERE TO PURCHASE?
So should you like to investigate how Mind Maps can transform the way you manage projects, do visit the following link to read some book excerpts:
The book can be purchased using the above link and it is also available at all major online stores (including Amazon) listed therein.