Thursday, 24 May 2007

Hand Drawn Mind Map to Project Plan

My facilitation work often involves helping project managers develop their plans. Recently I had the opportunity to develop ideas from a hand drawn map into a software tool and finally into a project plan.

My preparation for the session with the project team involved reviewing the draft project initiation document (PID). From this I noted my initial ideas using a hand drawn mind map.

Then with the project team, we captured initial thoughts on a work breakdown structure using MindManager. We used the tool to regroup and restructure the ideas until we had a structure that reflected the deliverables, phasing and nature of the project. Next we began entering task information on key items – milestone dates, elapsed time, resources and dependencies.

When we had a working draft in MindManager we exported the map to MS Project (at this point you could actually feel people thinking ‘Wow!’). Using Project we began to schedule the tasks and review the resources. The team took away the Mind Manager map and the Project file to develop the plan further.

The project team were very impressed with their deliverables and the fact they had produced so much in so little time.

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