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Monday, 30 January 2012

Import a Word Document - Why?

Many mind mapping software packages contain a Word import feature.  I wonder how many have used it and why.

From experience, I have found a number of benefits from using this feature:
  • the map provides a summary of the document, making the content easier to assimilate
  • the document becomes much easier to navigate, it's contents are laid out on a single page
  • detail can be hidden where not required or expanded where of interest
  • the software provides alternative approaches to review and highlighting; ideas can be added; review comments; icons; highlighting
  • the document can be filtered, provide a cut down version containing only the content of interest
  • the document can be exported back to Word again, with filters, changes and mark ups added, providing a richer Word document for sharing.

I will use the rules to a complex game as an example. It's a 37 page document, with content in three columns per page. The table of contents runs to a page and a half, also in three densely packed columns. I've worked with business documents far larger this.
Toc
3 Cols
Now how would you get a quick impression of content and subject matter without printing and physically running over the document by eye?

Importing it into, say, MindManager or MindGenius, provides an instant overview. I am fortunate the document is well structured in terms of heading and sub-headings and makes good use of Word Styles (Heading 1, Heading 2 and so on).
MG
MindGenius.
MM
MindManager.

Once in this form, I can begin editing, marking, flagging and filtering.
MG filter
MM filter
When I've finished I can either publish the map or export to Word. When I export to Word I can use the same template used to format the original document, thus retaining continuity of appearance.
MG export
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Some of the images used in this post were created using MindGenius.  If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.

Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Monday, 16 January 2012

Programme Blueprint - Contents and Dependencies

Further to the last post, which introduced the Programme or Project Blueprint, I've made a few notes on some key aspects.  These are:

  • Range of business models included
  • Dependencies with other documents
  • The life cycle actions on the Blueprint
  • Purpose and benefits of the approach.

The notes are presented as a series of slides created by MindGenius, each being a simple list of the points.  Just click on the image and it will open full size in another window.

Range of Business Models Included:

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Dependencies with Other Documents:

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Life Cycle:

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Purpose and Benefits:

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imageThe images used in this post were created using MindGenius.  If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.


Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.


To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Blueprint for Change - Detailing the Future

When embarking upon a change programme or project, it is a good idea to know something about what the programme or project will put in place ... obviously.  Some outputs are often available: the programme 'vision'; the business case; a high level programme brief.  However these will mostly likely not contain sufficient detail of what the business will look like when the programme or project completes.

It can be invaluable to create and maintain a Blueprint.  I stumbled across the concept of a Blueprint in the 'Managing Successful Programmes' guide produced by the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC).  Prepared as early as possible in the life of the programme or project, the Blueprint describes the business as it will be implemented to deliver the capability and benefits described in the vision and business case.
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The Blueprint describes:
  • the business functions, processes and working practices in scope and how they will change
  • management and reporting and governance structures
  • new and amended services with statements of how the customer will perceive, experience and benefit from these
  • how people will be organised and skilled
  • information needs and technology enablers
  • other resources, capabilities, internal and external services
  • relationships with internal functions and new and existing suppliers.
The advantages of maintaining a Blueprint are that it provides:
  • a living summary of high level requirements expressed in terms of the end game
  • a reference to support the business case
  • the single, authoritative source for briefing all stakeholders, programme and project team members
  • a source of material for all communications events, ensuring continuity and consistency of messages.
At a very early stage the programme or project team will be able to better articulate what is being attempted.  It will help those involved see for themselves how their worked might be affected.  It supports the process that helps people respond to and manage their natural response to change.

The Blueprint may also be extended to include high level statements of the timeline and major milestones.  It may include, where required, the 'end states' as they will be at key migration steps or stages.  It may say something about how the change programme or project will be approached - providing high level direction for programme and project plans and initiation documents (PIDs).
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Typical contents for an extended Blueprint are included in a MindGenius map that is available for download from Biggerplate - just click 'Programme and Project Blueprint'.
 
The map is also available as a MindView map by clicking here and a MindManager map on Biggerplate here.
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imageThe images used in this post were created using MindGenius.  If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST