Symytry... What You'll Need To Get Started
The Long & Short of It
“Living at risk is jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury
I think Ray Bradbury's quote also implies that sometimes it's a matter of a leap of faith. When you throw in a little creativity, it makes that trip on the way down far more interesting.
Many of us that have stuck with mind mapping over the years, know the value of the platforms, but you have to take a chance and try it before you turn the other cheek, and yes... you can build and change the game at any moment... not just on the way down!
So, let's go through a few things you'll need to get started.
Hardware & Software Requirements
There are several software platforms we suggest to load Symytry Foundation's dashboards & control panels.
MindManager 2019 is our platform of choice, just as you would use MS Word to create your written masterpiece, Symytry uses MindManager 2019 as the platform to design and create maps and dashboards.
You can order MindManager 2019 either through us, or directly from Mindjet, but if you purchase our tools & templates, our recommendation is that you first download MindManager 2019 from https://www.mindjet.com/mindmanager-windows/?nav=p-mmw and try it for a 30 day free trial. Their home page is at: www.mindjet.com.
After you download the 30 day free trial, you'll also be able to download and open our maps. Then, we can view and navigate our maps together and we'll show you directly, the power of the platform and it's features and added value to your business. The features and power of the tool isn't directly apparent at first glance.
Once you see it in action, and have a chance to play around with it, the benefits will hit home!
There are other platforms that we highly recommend as well. The maps / dashboards described on this site are primarily designed with MindManager.
These other platforms can convert them, but there will likely be differences in the functionality and the degree to which they'll convert, and as such, there will have to be time invested to make all the conversions.
CS Odessa's ConceptDraw Mindmap. You can purchase ConceptDraw software products in a bundle of three (or individually); ConceptDraw Pro, ConceptDraw Mindmap & ConceptDraw Project. You can contact them at www.conceptdraw.com. CS Odessa has a very full featured platform! I could only skim the surface, but ConceptDraw's products are fully integrated and you can use it for tasks that are well beyond creation of dashboards. Take a look at their web site and see for yourself, or we can give you a tour of it's features, functions and benefits.
iMindMap at www.imindmap.com. We really like the way you can be not only fully functional, but also from a artistic point of view, sky is the limit on design aesthetics.
iMindMap gives you more creative license because one of our dashboards looks very artistic (and cool) when it's been designed and built with the iMindMap platform.
There are a lot more platform choices out there than the three we are recommending. Two really excellent recommendations we have for getting your arms around different ones are:
Biggerplate at www.biggerplate.com. Liam Hughes is the founder of Biggerplate and he has a fantastic web site with tons of examples that you can download from his web site. Register for free and learn a lot!
My recommendation is too join Biggerplate's Business Club at www.biggerplate.com/businessclub. The cost to join is beyond reasonable. Here you can join webinars every couple of weeks where you can see how other people are using mind map platforms. There's a collection of archived webinars as well.
Chuck Frey's Mindmap Software Blog at www.mindmappingsoftwareblog.com. Chuck Frey has been following and writing about the mind mapping software industry for years and is a go to authority on many of the products out there today (and then some). Take a look at his blog and you'll get an exceptional orientation and a wealth of advice! Highly recommended!
I have never personally agreed with that term, but some do and it seems to keep sticking with us. Organizing... yes, and... I am doing things with ideas though... organizing, filtering, adjusting, expanding, enhancing, sifting, deleting, focusing, drilling down, collaborating, improving, simplifying, etc.
Not only with ideas, but also with processes. Many of which are quite complex and have a lot of moving parts.
But... these platforms are absolutely fantastic and I don't care what people call it. My work with these tools has been on directing productivity in ways that fully engage you, your team and your client.
For Symytry it has been dashboard & control panel design for ERP project management, program management and the program management office and it is excellent for those disciplines, but it most definitely doesn't stop there.
Symytry has dashboards & control panels for lots of other functions that are beyond project and program management:
Ideation & Innovation Workbench
Architecting & Designing (Industrial) Internet of Things (IIoT) strategic plans
Workflows of all sorts
Enterprise Architecture (and other architecture disciplines in IT and business)
Process Analysis / Flow / Mapping / Tracking from high level to the gnat's eyelash
Sales Dashboard for Account Managers & Business Developers
Strategic Planning Roadmaps for Cloud Based Endeavors
There's gazillions of diagramming tools used in IT and business, and yes, you can also use Symytry dashboards and control panels with other diagramming, design and analysis tools. The one's I described above come with many of them already built in.
There's are interfaces to other tools that are provided by Zapier at www.zapier.com. Wait till you see the different add-ons that they offer. In MindManager, there's a menu selection to that will link you to Zapier.
In your projects, you use swim lane diagrams, right? You can use them here, too.
How about providing HTML 5 ready mind maps to provide your team and the client. Yes, and it is the mind map you created with all of the attachments and a presentation mode. All you need is a browser. If you have your own website, simple link the map into an iframe. You can protect it with a password, too.
What about Microsoft Project? After all, what's a project without a project plan and schedule? Let us show you how they tie in beautifully with Symytry dashboards. Mind Manager 2019 & ConceptDraw both have excellent project scheduling tools that can import from and export to MS Project, or you can use them exclusively. You'll really like it when you see it.
When managing projects, its time, cost and resources. Its the way you deliver a means to an end by scope & discovery, planning, designing, constructing & building, testing, moving to production, monitoring and continuous improvement.
Large scale ERP system implementation projects have a lot of moving parts. Here's a quick example.
The dashboard above has two functions; sales functions and project functions, put another way, full 360 degree prospect to close sales cycle up to a 360 degree project management process cycle through to post implementation & support. From a sales persons perspective, everything needed is on the left.
In the example below, we isolated the sales portion of the overall map. Enter the password, "passworD1!" without the quotes. It will show you a format / design variation.
In this case, we have an HTML 5 example that can be shared with everyone on the team, can be opened without a copy of MindManager 2019 and works beautifully from a collaboration perspective. The tools / attachments are missing. Those are the powerful enablers we want you to embrace and we'll show you what's inside.
Once you're in, it defaults to a presentation view, but you can click on menu, then click standard, and you can explore the map content as you want.
SAP solutions & products topic connects another dashboard to SAP so that research and sales collateral can be linked in almost any form; hyperlinked, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint, PDFs, etc.
Industry solution maps
Building a business case dashboard (on the fly)
Scoping & analysis notes so you and your team can start formulating a solution strategy (on the fly and with online collaboration)
Project Charter dashboard (on the fly)
Feasibility study dashboard (on the fly)
Statement of Work dashboard (on the fly)
If there's a tool missing that you like to use, it can be added very easily and integrated into the dashboard. For example, many consultancies have a set of hardware landscape templates that are used in the planning phase.
Symytry will show you how to:
Apply them as standalone dashboards that you can add on the fly from a library and incorporate into your sales dashboard.
Add as MS Word or Excel template that you can add on the fly from a library and incorporate into your sales dashboard.
So, let's assume the Statement of Work has been signed. You have literally tracked and traced every aspect of the project to the point that you can bring in your project planning team to start laying tracks for the project. Remember, you completed a high level project schedule in the Statement of Work. This will take it a level or two deeper. Then, the right side of the dashboard turns on. It has pretty much all the tools and templates need for your project.
There are tons of templates, but you may have some that you've been using in your consulting practice. Those can be added in an instant.
You can create whole libraries of your brand of tools and templates and make use of them in a click and they can be reusable. We will show you how you can brand your dashboards in many ways and with many design layouts.
And... we haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet!
Let's talk about the components.
Symytry Foundations & "360 Degree Purpose Engineered Architecture"
It's about organization and putting all the component pieces together. As a part of this, to kick start your project, you'll need to know these factors:
What's the industry vertical? Automotive, Chemical, Consumer Packaged Goods, Industrial Machinery, Pharmaceuticals, Fashion, Utilities, Professional Services, Food & Beverage, I think you get the point.
What type of project is it? Greenfield (brand new from scratch implementation)? Upgrade? MDG (master data governance)? TMS (transportation management)? Technical? SCM (supply chain management)? Offshore development? Cloud implementation? Migration from SAP ECC 6 to S4HANA? Digital Transformation? IIoT project? Name it.
Are all the tools, templates, techniques, tips, forms, analysis, collaboration, forums, industry groups available? Can you get your hands on all of them right now, this instant? If you answered yes to this, you're way beyond most people!
Results of the Requirements Definition?
Results of Scoping & Discovery?
Have you assessed the client organizational readiness?
How will project setbacks be addressed?
What has been the history of success on other project endeavors with the client?
How many integrators have gone through the revolving door with the client?
Does the client have a change management and business transformation initiative in place? There must be one! If not, start asking questions and get one in play!
Has the integrator done a complete analysis of their master data? Otherwise, you may find yourself backpedaling. This is critical!
Is the integrator, no matter how big or small they are, trying to win the project by cutting corners, applying penalties in the SOW, or some other means to win the business at the expense of the health, happiness and well-being of the team and the client? Will it affect work / life balance?
Does the project or program manager have teeth? Can the PM make key decisions when needed?
Are there experts on the integration partner's project team?
Has the client assigned very knowledgeable people to the project at the business functional & technical level? If so, what percentage of their time will be dedicated to the project?
Will the client's internal team be able to devote time throughout the project to ensure it's success? A little different question than the one above.
Any other impediments, or problems that you see or anticipate happening on this project? Speak up!
In other words, Symytry is a central dashboard, management control center and repository for and about the project you're working on; SAP, Oracle, MS Dynamics or anything that requires the use of an almost organic management & team centric control & monitoring tool set.
What's A Foundation?
Symytry Foundations, as the name implies, consists of the base / foundational (ERP) software for different types of projects. Foundations include, but are definitely not limited to:
Within these platforms, there will be a specific industry segment:
Consumer Packaged Goods
Food & Beverage
Pharma / Life Sciences
You get the point. They're industry verticals, as well as, different types of projects and sub-projects, as I mentioned earlier.
Foundations are packaged with base templates, tools, and forms for the project from project prep, to explore, to realization, cutover, to deploy and go live / run. If you're using SAP Activate for an S4HANA implementation, Symytry will very nicely wrap around Activate and enhance it by not only taking advantage of all of its tools, but you can add your own tools on the fly and immediately integrate them directly into Symytry. That's what we've done. But it doesn't replace Activate!
Symytry has created tools & templates over the years and we use many of our own dashboards by saving them as "map parts" that we save into a map parts library, plus many highly specialized ones. These dashboards are already loaded with templates such as; Excel tools, PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, PDFs, and more. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can very easily do so if you'd like and replace our templates with your own.
So, to use our maps will be a fantastic springboard for you to start building your own. That, along with a class or two, will really get you on your way and will turn on your creative lights.
Symytry splits each phase of the project into it's constituent work streams. These are both technical & functional. They contain all requisite tasks and deliverables to ensure nothing has been omitted.
Tasks are consolidated into the work package and the work packages are consolidated into the workstream and the work streams are consolidated into each phase.
Many consultants start off with workshops where the client company and the consultants go through walk-throughs as to what's delivered with, for example SAP finance & accounting, sales & distribution, etc., and go through the deltas between the way the client performs a scenario business process and the way SAP handles it. This functionality will vary depending on industry vertical of course. This is referred to as 'gap analysis.'
Scenario Business Processes
Asset To Retire
Budget To Report
Hire To Retire
Order To Cash
Plan To Produce
Procure To Pay
Each scenario business process will have an organizational structure, associated master data and process steps that are required to make each of the scenario process function end to end. These are all areas that will be built into the project plan and will have controls placed on getting them addressed and monitoring their progress.
Large ERP projects are complex with lots of moving parts. It's possible we may have left something out or overlooked something. If so, let us know and we'll try to find or build a tool that will meet your requirements.
As for the ERP system... the same areas I've pointed out here, also applies to any vendors' ERP system, not only to SAP. You'll need the same exact tools!
Industry Vertical Connectors & Dashboards
Each industry vertical may have it's own dashboards, because the requirements can differ so greatly. The project / program manager's dashboard for a pharmaceutical manufacturing client will not be same for an energy client, professional services or an automotive client.
The basic / general project tools or "root" templates may be similar to control and monitor the project, but the roles will differ based on the expertise and experience required with the understanding of a specific industry, the business processes will not be exactly the same, regulatory compliance will not be the same, etc. In fact, governance, risk & compliance will be different for each vertical. In some cases, regulatory compliance can run deep and can impact project outcomes if not planned for carefully.
Therefore, when applying best practices for that specific industry segment, you'll need tools, templates, forms and techniques designed for the way business is done in that industry segment. Thus, each industry vertical has a different set of connectors, building blocks, dashboards and control panels when your down into the details of the business. That's why consultants specialize in specific industry verticals. They understand the nuances of a particular industry.
As mentioned before, you can also add your own, or add any customized tools, templates and forms. The skeleton framework is there and you can brand it and customize it to your business and your client.
Brand it to your own with your logo, tools and templates. It's easy and we'll show you how. You can brand a dashboard in less than a minute.
Other industry verticals and dashboards include:
Rapid Deployment Solutions
Master Data Governance
Supply Chain Optimization
ECC 6 to S4HANA migration
Sales (for Consultancies)
Connectors & Building Blocks
You can add these on the fly as you progress on your project. For example, if you need a resource, define the role and job description. When completed, save it for future role profiles.
In the meantime, it's already fully formatted and ready to release. You can use Symytry to get it out to all the job boards and recruiters you wish to use. Collect the email responses from Outlook directly in the dashboard, set up interviews, keep track of screenings, filter out the good candidates, move to next interview steps, whittle the selection down, make an offer. Again, a dashboard with a 360 degree process.
Some of the building blocks might include:
Change Management & Business Transformation
Roles & Resources
IIoT / Cloud (Industrial Internet of Things)
CALM (Casually Applied Learning Method)
Education & Training
Innovators Think Bench
Test Script Templates
Any of these can be injected or introduced at any point into the project, or used as a standalone dashboard. You can chain maps together into comprehensive process workflows if you want to, or use them individually.
You'll need a project methodology and associated structure. Symytry does not replace any methodology or approach offered by SAP or any other vendor. What it does do is wrap around these methods, and in essence, puts them on steroids and makes them easier to use & manage. It's all designed to work in 360 degrees. We like to refer to these as '360 degree process cycles of action.'
Why is Symytry the Better Approach?
To make it easier to perform as a project manager, or a program manager. Everything is already at your disposal. You engage at every aspect of the project when you need to and get all team members on the same page faster, because they see what's what from more perspectives. See Advantages under the Home tab.
Symytry Foundations becomes your SOURCE OF THE TRUTH FOR & ABOUT YOUR PROJECT.
If you want to keep doing what you're doing, the way you've been doing it, without even giving Symytry a chance, go for it.
What you need to do is try it. Don't be stubborn. Remember when you first learned how to ride a bike, ice skate or swim? You know you had to do it! Your friends were all learning. You had to stay up with them. It was not only fun, but it was necessary! The same concept applies here.
Visual tools are changing the way we work with projects!
You can download a 30 day free trial of MindManager 2019 from Mindjet at www.mindjet.com. Although, to really embrace visual project management, you need to give it a chance and get a few hours of training to see the power fully and completely and to be able to ask questions! Call us and we'll answer all your questions and help you get started.
About ten or twelve years ago, I would push the limits of mind mapping software with a few hundred topics, tons of attachments and project plans with a thousand tasks or more. Too much of the time, the computer would choke due to overwhelmed system resources.
Given improved hardware, solid state RAM drives, faster processors, etc., system resource chokes are (almost) non-existent. My recommendation is an i5 or i7 cpu with a healthy chunk of memory. But this is directly from Mindjet's online material and reflects Microsoft only. There is an Apple version as well.
Supported Operating Systems:
Microsoft® Windows® 10 32-bit and 64-bit
Intel i5, i7 or greater processor
16 GB RAM or greater
830 MB available disk space
Recommended Minimum Display: 1280 x 720 pixels
Microsoft .NET 4.6 or higher
Additional requirements to use certain features:
Microsoft Office Professional 2010, 2013, 2016 or 2019 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Microsoft Project® 2010, 2013, 2016 or 2019 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Microsoft Internet Explorer® 11.0 or greater
Broadband Internet Connection
Symytry will make it so affordable, we'll make it very, very hard to say no!!
We offer a one year subscription based access where you can download many complex maps. We've already done the heavy lifting.
So, it'll be very inexpensive and your biggest investment will be time. You can learn your way around in one hour. In that hour, we'll show you how to navigate and learn some basic features and functions.
We'll take you through a build from scratch example and that's where the creative juices begin to flow. You'll immediately have ideas on what might be possible!
Go ahead and take a chance. You'll be glad you did!
"Necessity is the mother of taking chances." — Mark Twain
“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky