Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Performing Calculations in Mind Maps

A new feature in MindView 3 Business Edition is the ability to apply values to branch topics and to do calculations with these values.

I experimented by evaluating the cost options for a project, comparing internal resource option with a contract resource option. I created a quick hierarchical map with the roles added under the two options. Next I added fields to the branch topics: Days; Rate; Cost. Days and Rate are just values. Cost was set up as a formula…yes, you guessed ….Days * Rate. For the summary branch topics (the option topics) I amended the value fields to SUM the values of all child branches, thus giving totals for each value for each option.

For the central or root topic I amended the Cost formula to COUNT the number of options.

I enhanced the visual look of the map by changing the format, adding boundaries and filling the boundaries with different colours.

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This was very easy to do, is intuitive (I did not refer to the Help pages at all) and gives an excellent visual result. The whole exercise took just a few minutes.

Next to export these results to Excel and Project …… once my upgrades to 2007 arrive in the post (MindView works with 2003 onwards – I have 2000).  See more here.

I should add a small postscript – the project and rates used are entirely made up, just for this exercise.

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