Project Management - the PMP Blog

A blog that looks at all aspects of pmp certification and all the other PMI certifications. We will provide helpfull information about obtaining those certifications, also helpful study materials and in general what it needs to become a professionell PM. We like any feedback!

About this Blog


Recent Posts

​The ultimate Guide to a 100% PMBoK Guide aligned Project ​Management Plan

Mind Mapping for Project Management – an overview (updated!)

Situational Project Management

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part III

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part II

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part II

In our last blog we had started with the Introduction of our “MP4PM – Mind mapping for Project Management”. In this blog entry we will not only provide you the next two “MP4PM” features; we will also introduce you the very first deliverable/result of “MP4PM” as a preview, so you can already see how “MP4PM” will look like and how it works basically. This way you can see what to expect in near future. And the best is: it is ready to use out of the box for anybody who wants to try out or just having a look. 

But first let’s have a look on the next two features we will provide you within “MP4PM”:

Sounds interesting for you?

OK, let’s come back to our first result out of “MP4PM”. With the great support of the community at we have just released the Version 1.0 of our first deliverable (to use project management wording); it is a questionnaire (as mind map of course) for the very first initiation meeting with your project sponsor in the project initiation phase (if you are in the role of the project manager) and it is called “Knowing the Sponsor”.

Since we have said, that “MP4PM” will be closely aligned tot the PMBoK Guide you may wonder now cause “Knowing the Sponsor” is not a PMBoK Guide Process and also not an ITTO, right?! Furthermore the very first process as by the PMBoK Guide is “Develop Project Charter”, correct? … of course …

Yes, but as you also may know there are mostly some additional Steps before you can start creating the Project Charter. Therefore we will have some additional artefacts that we do support with MP4PM and “Knowing the Sponsor” is the very first of them.

We have done a version 1.0 already, but of course like the complete “MP4PM” framework this deliverable will be continuously improved and developed further.

If you want to participate in this development, please feel free to add your valuable inputs in the corresponding discussion thread at the end of this posting. Any feedback is highly appreciated.

You can access an interactive online version of the “Knowing your Sponsor” map here (or just by clicking on the picture above):

Please use this version for review only.

If you want to use the map and/or work with it, then please download it from here:

For downloading the map/files you need to be logged in at . If you do not want to create a user account there, then just write me a private message here and I will provide you the files.

“Knowing your Sponsor” is not only available as .mmap (what is the MindManager file format, but could also be opened with Xmind for instance), it is also provided in several other formats like the usual MS Office formats for instance (all included in the download package!).

Please try out and let us know what you thinking of it.

In our next blog we will introduce you the next “MP4PM” features and may be we will talking already about the next deliverable what is actually work in progress.

Until next time ... ;)


If you want to contribute to the map please refer to the following discussion threads; we have created one discussion thread for each branch in the map for a better overview:

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Setting Expectations"

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions for "Understanding your working relationship"

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Tradeoffs"

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Schedule and Budget Expectations"

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Business Outcome"

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Stakeholders"

"Knowing your SpPonsor" - Questions about "Project Context"

"Knowing your SpPonsor" - Questions about "Quality and Scope"

Posted on: December 06, 2016 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (20)

Mind Mapping® for project management – an overview

Soon we will start publishing our new, PMBoK guide aligned and Mind Mapping® based project management framework "MP4PM".

And to kick this off we want to first look at the facts why Mind Mapping® in general is a great tool to gather, organize and transfer information and how it could be a help especially in project management efforts by utilizing Mind Mapping® software.

Mind Mapping® is a way of visually representing ideas and information. Just as geographical maps help people see where they’re going and help them anticipate and avoid obstacles, Mind Maps® let people lay out ideas and connect information in a way that helps identify dependencies, connections, and risks.

Mind Mapping® is a powerful technique and the advantages of Mind Maps® are many:

  • The relative importance of each idea is clearly indicated by how near it is to the center, which clearly features the main idea.
  • The links between key concepts will be immediately obvious from their proximity and connection to one another. The brain works primarily with key concepts that it links and integrates. Mind Maps® work in the same way, meaning that recall and review will be faster and more effective.
  • The nature of the Mind Map® structure allows for the easy addition of new information.
  • Each Mind Map® has its own unique pattern, which further aids recall.
  • The open-ended nature of the Mind Map® is a great aid to creativity, allowing the brain to make new and exciting connections with ease.
  • With practice, you'll find Mind Maps® help you to be your best in every thinking situation.
Uses Benefits
  • Reduce those 'tons of work'.
  • Feel good about study, revision and exams.
  • Have confidence in your learning abilities
  • See the whole picture, the global view, at once.
  • Understand the links and connections
  • Focus on the task for better results
  • Using all your cortical skills attracts your attention
  • Easy recall
  • 'See' the information in your mind's eye
  • Easy recall
  • Be on top of all the details for parties, holidays, projects or any other subject
  • Speeches are clear, relaxed and alive. You can be at your best
  • In all forms with clarity and conciseness
  • From planning to agenda, to chairing, to taking the minutes...the jobs are completed with speed and efficiency
  • From preparation to presentation, they make the job easier and much faster
  • Having a method to analyze thoughts - almost a 'way station' for them
  • All issues, your position and maneuverability on one sheet
Brain Blooming
  • The new brain-storming in which more thoughts are generated and appropriately assessed.


By looking at those use cases and benefits you might think “well, there are a lot of them appearing in project management also, right?” and yes, there are. Since project management is all about gathering information and work with them and also about communication, Mind Mapping® can be utilized for this actions in a great way. But then you may think “well, but all this paper work … and if it is written down, how to reorganize the information if necessary?" (and it will be, right?).

This is when software tools comes in place; software tools which are basing on the Mind Mapping® principles. Using such Mind Mapping® tools has the following six key benefits:




With professional Mind Mapping® software, you can brainstorm and capture ideas in freeform, and then add structure and depth. Drag-and-drop editing and markers let you apply order, connect ideas, and group concepts into themes. Built-in templates often make it easy to bring clarity to important projects, and completed maps give you a more effective way to communicate.


Professional Mind Mapping® software lets you organize ideas and information in a single view so you can see connections and draw conclusions quickly. It’s easy to assemble content-rich information maps with attachments and links that let you process information without having to jump between different apps and browsers. You maybe even can even import tasks, email, and contacts from Microsoft Outlook to Mind Maps® to better organize your work life.


Professional Mind Mapping® software provides deep capabilities for organizing information to drive critical business processes and decision-making. More advanced features can include Guided Brainstorming tools, 2x2 analysis views, budgeting and forecasting tools, and numerous project management features where we look into in detail later on.


Professional Mind Mapping® software visual format lets you show the big picture and then drill down to display details as needed, all in a single view. Improve meetings by quickly capturing discussion notes and follow-up action items in context. Use priority markers, symbols, and embedded images to highlight the most important points.


Professional Mind Mapping® software is integrated with Microsoft and Apple productivity apps, including MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS Project, and Apple Keynote and Pages. Individuals can map out their work in the professional Mind Mapping® software, and then publish final reports and proposals in the most appropriate format.


Professional Mind Mapping® software may have an enterprise version which extends the value offering integration with Microsoft SharePoint to enable collective information management and collaboration. With the Enterprise Version people across the organization can use professional Mind Mapping® software intuitive visual frame - work to capture and organize information, then share editable maps so teams can solve problems, prioritize strategies, plan projects, and process information together.

After looking at the Mind Mapping® benefits in general and the advantages of using Mind Mapping® software especially we will know focus on the specific benefits of using the combination of them applied to project management:

Successful project management depends on effective management of expectations and commitments. Mind Mapping® software helps you keep teams in alignment on the decisions and tradeoffs that determine if a project will meet goals and deadlines. Create a blueprint for your project by defining goals, prioritizing issues, capturing stakeholder input, and validating requirements—all in one application.



Visualize Goals

Clearly defining goals and prioritizing issues means getting input—and more importantly, buy-in—from the entire team. Mind Maps® give project teams a virtual whiteboard for brainstorming where every idea and concern can be surfaced and cataloged. Mind Maps® help teams think visually so they can quickly lay out deliverables and identify any gaps in the plan.


Validate Requirements

Adequately validating requirements is one of the first steps to ensuring project success. Quickly capture stakeholder input in a format that encourages participation. Verify decisions by visually ordering and reordering topics, drilling down to review details, and using priority markers to provoke essential trade-off discussions.


Manage Resources

Use Mind Maps® to create detailed process maps to intelligently allocate resources and identify dependencies. Mind Maps® helps everyone involved see the big picture and all the details in context. And if needed, you can export straight to Microsoft Project and other MS Office products and also the independent and high flexible HTML5 format (can be opened by any web browser!)


Adjust and Optimize

Quickly make adjustments when schedules and resources change. The task roll-up feature shows the overall impact of changes to assignments and dependencies so that everyone can understand (and respond to) the implications of schedules and budgets. Integrated Gantt charts provide a timeline view of your schedule.


Agree on Budgets


Create and manage project budgets in the project Mind Map® alongside priorities and schedules—all in one place. Most professional tools have a feature to quickly set up formulas throughout your map and use the formula editor to add more sophisticated calculations. Conduct “what if” analyses by dragging topics into or out of the formula’s range to immediately adjust the calculations.


Be Prepared

Most of the professional Mind Mapping® tools (like MindManager or XMind for instance) helps you often get started faster with project map templates and pre-built map topics for creating project charters, plans, status, and timelines. Once you create a project, you can save your working Mind Map® as a custom template to guide future work, reducing the time needed to start your next project.

And this is exactly what we want to provide with our “MP4PM – MindmaPping for project management” initiative. Aligned to PMBoK Guide and covering all of the 47 (5th version) processes and all their related ITTOs!

This will mean that you do not need to build up this project templates on your own; you can use them out of the box or doing some customization related to your own project management processes used in your organization. Tailoring the PMBoK Guide processes for specific project needs becomes very easy this way and even if your company does not rely on PMI’s methodology it still will be very useful (hopefully).

Thank you for taking time reading this first article as a kickoff to the upcoming articles and maybe webinars.

Next time we will introduce our “MP4PM” a bit more in detail and also provide you a “sneak preview” so you can see what to expect in the next weeks, month's and maybe even years. We hope you will like it.

Any feedback is highly appreciated.



first published here:




Posted on: November 28, 2016 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

"If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave. If a man does more than is required of him, he is a free man."

- Chinese Proverb