Friday, 30 April 2010

Stakeholder Management with MindManager

Nearly every project or change initiative involves understanding who is interested in what is being planned – and whether these stakeholders will help or hinder.  A simple analysis is used to identify these enablers and blockers, to establish an approach to manageing them and to outline the beginnings of a communications plan.

This simple analysis can take the form of a basic Q&A.  This is readily presented and worked with using a mind map – in this case MindManager.  One additional benefit to this approach is that relationships between stakeholders can also be mapped.

imageThe example here shows just one branch – the map can then be expanded with new branches added for each stakeholder being analysed.  Links between stakeholders can then be added.

The branch can be held as a MindManager map part so it’s easy to add new branches.

I think the key part of the analysis is the “Management Strategy” topic – how will you manage this particular stakeholder ……?

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer

Sun-tzu Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Research with MindManager Text Markers

Mind maps and MindManager are great tools for collecting and organising research notes.  One problem is keeping track of the source references against each note taken.  With MindManager Text Markers you need never lose a source reference again

Using MindManager it is possible to assign the notes to a topic that represents the source.  However if you wish to record the notes in a different structure, such as by topics representing the major subject areas, then a different approach is needed.  MindManager Text Markers are great for this purpose. 

imageFirst create a new Text Marker Group – in this example I have referenced my sources by date but this could easily be a catalogue index or a publication title.



Research with text markers 1Then add Text Markers to this group as required and assign them to the notes you record as topics.  Here the source document has been scanned and is analysed on one half of the screen with notes entered directly into MindManager on the right.

image The advantages of this approach are many and include the ability to reorganise and restructure the notes whilst retaining the original source references.  Use of text markers in this way also opens up additional possibilities for filtering the notes.  Once exported to Word, if the Text Marker option is included then the references will be carried through and the task of creating traditional references becomes much easier.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Working with Difficult Groups Made Easy

image The latest publication from the IAF (International Association of Facilitators) promises to challenge the idea that some groups are “difficult” to work with.  The book will explore how groups are difficult, why they might be so and what you, as the facilitator, can do to help. 

The book is available towards the end of this month and can be purchased from Amazon.

For more information see 

The table of contents is available to view, together with a sample chapter, from the publisher’s website – see Jossey-Bass.

"Whether you are a facilitator, leader, or member of a group, you will gain surprising insights into why a group is difficult, and more importantly, how to recognize the cause of the difficulty and how to develop an effective response to move the group forward."

Gary Rush, CPF, president, MGR Consulting; chair, International Association of Facilitators (IAF)