A Better Project Map

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website TacticalProjectManagement.com.

Mind-mapping tools and techniques go beyond the limitations of rudimentary Microsoft Project plans and Excel issues lists, allowing project leaders to visually define project scope, identify potential risks, assign tasks, and capture meeting minutes.

How do you determine your project's scope? PMP-certified project professionals and others know the textbook answer is to refer to a scope planning process to produce a formal scope statement. A scope statement provides project justification, key deliverables and project objectives, while scope definition processes further divide the major project deliverables into manageable components. This textbook approach, however, doesn't provide tactical tools to develop and define a project's scope. Scope statements are often the result of brainstorming multiple ideas and gleaning the best candidates.
 
Mind mapping tools can be an effective, tactical alternative for brainstorming a project's scope, establishing a high-level WBS, and identifying potential risks early in the project lifecycle.
 
What are Mind Maps?
Mind maps are simply network diagram with nodes, branches, colors, and icons to help convey an idea. Teachers refer to them as brainstorm maps. It is a simple picture view of an idea. People often think and communicate with pictures. Written words build an image in your mind and the image conveys the idea. Think back to any …

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I did this thing on the Ottoman Empire. Like, what was this? A whole empire based on putting your feet up?

- Jerry Seinfeld

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