The use of mind maps for identifying project benefits can be an eye opening exercise for the project team.
Projects usually start with a feasibility check on whether with the available resources it is possible to achieve the demands of the stakeholder. Feasibility check is important for a GO/NO GO decision in projects however beyond the GO decision the teams needs to be motivated enough during the life-cycle of the project.
It is a well known fact that motivation is strongly linked to understanding the “WHY” or the “PURPOSE” behind any activity that we do. If this “WHY” is strong enough then the ‘HOW” is the easy part.
Another way to look at the WHY of the project is to analyse the benefit the project offers to all the stakeholders involved. The Mind Map shown above helps to capture the project benefits from the perspective of Customer, Management, Project Team, End User (if different from the customer) and the competition. Additionally certain global perspectives such as social, political, environmental, health, safety etc. should also be considered which may uncover an hitherto benefit missed otherwise.
It is important that this exercise is done with the involvement of the complete project team, additional stakeholders can also be invited at the discretion of the Project Manager.
The Key benefit of this exercise is that it helps to connect the project to a bigger reality such as how an organisation is benefiting as a result of the same or how the project is contributing to enhancing the environment. At the same time the Mind Map can be detailed to an extent where it captures the benefit to an individual team member also.
Go ahead and try this out with your ongoing projects also and you will discover additional reasons for doing the project and hence probably motivating the team further..