Symytry Foundations uses Mindjet's MindManager 2019 for Windows from Corel as the primary platform of choice for building our mind maps.
MindManager is a tool set that delivers the ability to take a process or idea, and build it out into greater detail. This is performed with a template. There are a number of them, but you begin with a central topic or idea and build it out. Choose a design / layout:
The template you use depends on how much detail you want. We use the full spectrum of map templates, but most frequently, right maps and radial maps. The default is radial and thus the star in the selection box.
Start with your central topic; for e.g., Company Project Name. Then add subtopics; Prepare, Explore, Realization, Deploy, Run, Deliverable Reference, etc. This is a radial map.
Each subtopic will then have subtopics. Prepare Phase will look like this:
Each subtopic will have their own children and so forth and so on...
You then keep it going until everything that the project will need, has been entered into the map template. For example, an SAP implementation project could potentially have hundreds of topic nodes inside each of the phases.
Each topic can also contain any number of attachments; Word documents, Excel files, PowerPoints, PDF attachments, hyperlinks, you pretty much name it! Whatever is needed to bring the project home successfully. You can also add notes anytime to any topic.
After you get the map the way you want it, you can make it a template and reuse it for other projects. I separate my templates (I call them dashboards or control panels) out by industry vertical, so that I have everything I'll need for a pharmaceutical client, automotive client, consumer packaged goods client, etc.
Anything with a paperclip has an attachment. There's more to topic nodes, too.
We can discuss this in more detail later.
As you complete any map, did you know you can export it to a fully formatted Word document with table of contents and beautifully formatted?
You can put your complete project plan together with task, durations, resource assignments, priorities, task dependencies and more.
Whatever you would do to setup your project plan / WBS in MS Project, you can do here directly in the map. You can also import and export project plans from one to the other.
All project tasks have a priority. You can assign priorities in the task pane on the top line 1 to 5. You can modify it by adding further or other priority ranges.
Task progress can also be added and changed.
One click will get you a Gantt chart. Another click will give you a schedule view, a Kanban view and more. Predecessor and successor task can be defined as well.
Add tags, icons, alarms and smart rules. You can also filter by these elements and stress aspects of the project to all team members and to specific team members.
Smart rule pane
Task info, tags, icons and much more can be added to any task.
The color of the task topic will change based on your criteria; green if complete, yellow if at risk and red if late. All of this can be changed to suit style.
The important part, of course, is filtering. This is where showing you with a demo works best. Use tags, icons and smart rules to do some very cool things that go beyond simple dates or reminders.
But the really terrific feature is that you can communicate to the team from a single source. I call it a "Single Source of the Truth about the Project." You're singing from the same hymn sheet to the whole team, specific part of the team and / or the stakeholders... everyone!
What a fantastic way to communicate! Everyone knows, whatever their role on the project, where they stand with the rest of the team. Everyone not only knows THE status, but they know THEIR status, other peoples status whether individually AND / OR globally.
The features of MindManager 2019 make it so conducive to managing a project or managing a program, that not using it would make me wonder why. I see so many project managers making themselves sick on their project because they lose their ability to monitor and control the project effectively. They get stuck in the mud and find it exceedingly difficult as the project progresses, to find a way out.
If you're a project manager that works with large and complex projects, you know very well what I'm talking about! It's serious. When people turn the other cheek to tools like this, it really does make me wonder. Overall, it's a very small price to pay for peace of mind, not only for the project / program manager, but also for stakeholders.
Any tool that I can use to keep me on top... well... that's going to be something I'm going to take a much closer look at! A great place to start is right here with MindManager 2019 and what we've done with Symytry Foundations.
I'm only scratching the surface here. For more information see:
One of the most useful tools is to export your map to an HTML 5 object. A fully clickable map that you can send to anyone that looks the same as the original map. Your team can navigate it, look at all the attachments, use it to collaborate and as a presentation.
We included a number of them on our website here. Look at the home page and at the video page and you'll see a few.
Your audience won't be able to edit it, but they can use it as a discussion board and the project manager can make the necessary changes.
There's a SharePoint version, too, named MindManager Enterprise. The map can also be stored there for anyone to view that has the appropriate permissions.
MindManager Enterprise takes project management to a whole new dimension! Your abilities expand because you can use the SharePoint platform's page & site features to slice 'n' dice and use filters in ways that combine the best of MindManager 2019 and SharePoint features and functions. MindManager Enterprise is enabled specifically for SharePoint.
We can discuss MindManager Enterprise separately. It is licensed differently and the cost is different. We sell that version as well. To see what it can do for you, I recommend viewing Mindjet's presentation here.
Speaking of resources, I'd also like to refer you to Nick Dufill at his UK based consulting firm Harport Consulting. Nick has over 20 years of experience with business applications of MindManager, with a focus on the advantages created by visualizing information and knowledge.
Harport has also developed many extensions for MindManager for Windows, two of which are now incorporated into the core product. Professional services offered include training, consulting on MindManager applications and development of custom extensions.
Nick can be contacted at:
Biggerplate is a go to resource for mind mapping templates, tutorials, and training. It is managed by Liam Hughes in the UK and they have hundreds of maps under a variety of different categories.
One of the new central features of Biggerplate is their Mind Mapping certification. This was something that was needed and now there's a certification body that addresses mind mapping as a practice area.
My advice is for you to join Biggerplate PRO. This is a place to attend webinars, join a global community of mind mappers, get some training and more. Liam Hughes has gone beyond the beyond on his well executed web site!
You can visit Biggerplate at:
Alex Gooding is a managing director at Goodies Davies Consultancy Pty. Ltd in Australia and he's also a seasoned mind mapping pro and takes Mind Manager to new heights. He writes about product features in his blog at Sociamind, where he tackles some very interesting uses of the platform and how you can use MindManager's features in new ways. Some of the tools he has come up with are highly useful and shed new light on ways Mind Manager can be used.
Alex does tackle some of the more advanced features of the product and some of them are technical, but highly functional. I use some of them in my own maps.
Your best bet is to see for yourself at:
Symytry Foundations benefit / value add is based in the maps we've built to give you a huge head start with project & program management and around 40 to 50 other areas. We take the burden out of creating them from scratch. Then, you can expand or contract the functions in the map to the way you conduct your projects and programs. Our maps are completed 360 degree processes from start to finish.
We created our maps with maps within maps and provide project artifacts, tools, forms, and templates that are comprehensive. We don't provide the project flows only with the artifacts... we provide many, many enablers. One tool is not a best fit for everyone. We try to provide choices.
The one central ingredient that goes into our maps and tools is experience. You learn a lot over the years and we try to pour that experience into every tool we offer! There are suggestions and there are basic entries in each tool that are compliant with standards bodies. So yes, we try to maintain standards within our tools.
Your best bet is to call us and we'll introduce you to our tools, templates and techniques.
Want to know more? Set up some time with us and we'll go from there!
* Symytry Foundations, LLC has no formal business related partnerships with these companies. They are trusted colleagues, experts & authorities that have been in the mind mapping world for many years.