Project Management

Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Topics: Procurement Management, Risk Management
Risk Management using the mind mapping concept
I have used primarily the spreadsheet approach to risk management but lately have become interested in applying mind mapping methodology. I don't see one replacing the other but mind mapping may assist with identification, analysis and response.

Any interest, experience, thoughts out there in PM land? I've been able to dig up some templates on the internet which could prove useful but any recommendations would come in handy.
Sort By:
Peter, I use mind mapping to think about the strategic environment and its relationships. It gives you the chance to generate a representation of your mental model, connect dependencies, and work out the blind spots.
I use mind mapping for risk process too, mainly to create risk breakdown structure.
That can be a good tool for breaking down the structure of risk.
As Sergio has indicated, a mind-mapping approach could be used to produce a highly structured deliverable such as an RBS or to facilitate identification by providing a set of predefined categories for stakeholders to think about.

You could also use such an approach to create a fishbone diagram with the core being "How would this project go worse (or better) than we expected?"

Mind mapping is generally used for any kind of Brainstorming activity to breakdown the thoughts in a much more structured and categorized manner.

Using it for Risk Mgmt approach would be really helpful at Level 1, however, to further get in detail of Risk Response and Impact analysis a detailing tool viz Checklist, Impact Matrix would be required in the forthcoming levels of Risk Mgmt.

A specialized tool which can handshake with a Mind-Mapping software & help in detailing out further on Impact analysis would definitely help PM's for much efficient Risk Mgmt Practices.

I am still looking for an Integrator tool on Activities- Risks Categorization via Mind Mapping- Monte Carlo Analysis with Cost and Duration parameter impact, for Effective Risk Mgmt Planning.
Thanks for the response. As I understand it Mind Mapping could be a useful tool in the initial stages of risk management, especially in training and brainstorming exercises as well as laying out the Risk Management Plan.

I see risk management as a team effort including the significant stakeholders yet there is incomplete understanding of the process and inter-connectability of risk management with the other project management elements. In my mind risk management drives the other management elements - we manage cost, time, quality,
communications, etc., to mitigate project risk and enhance benefits.

It is also noted that each stakeholder has a particular perception of risk subject to theirs needs and expectations from the project and experience. It could even be suggested that individual team members have a personal interest in risk management considering what they hope to achieve as a member of the team. There is potential for conflict here as one person's risk could be another person's benefit.

Risk Management goes beyond risk identification, analysis and documentation and should be a dynamic process through project delivery. Too often the Risk Register ends up on a shelf and only gets reference when all hell breaks loose.

I see Mind Mapping as a structured methodology to capture all these (and more) relationships, opportunities, expectations and constraints. A risk management mind map should be a component of the Risk Management Plan.

I will be pursuing this concept. If anyone can suggest further references or provide additional insight, much appreciated.
Mind mapping tools are great for creating a WBS, RBS, or just about any process that involves layers of thinking and analysis, represented in a visual diagram, to provide context and fluidity to thoughts and ideas. It's able to create a visual structured flow of relationships between various ideas.

Some mind maps I use are XMind and Freemind, which are free tools. MindManager is probably the most comprehensive mind mapping tool out there. And, Ayoa and Miro provide multiple cool visual options. Some of these mind mapping tools might be able export your mind map data into PM software like MS Project, to be able to create Gantt charts, for instance.

And, if you are creating a WBS online with co-workers or stakeholders, you can use mind mapping software for everyone to provide real-time updates on the same mind map file.
Mind maps and affinity diagrams are simple tools that help us to think about a logical structure to the relationships between ideas. They are both versatile tools that can be used in many ways.

Affinity Diagrams

With affinity diagrams, ideas are logically organized based on their relationship to each other. Affinity diagrams work by taking series of facts, data, and ideas under a particular theme and organizing them into different clusters based on their affinity or relationship with one another.

For example, if I’m working on a software development project, I may organize my tasks based on the things I need to create. I may organize in a sequential order tasks for registering new applications, modifying existing applications approving applications, printing, reporting, etc.

Mind Maps

In contrast, a mind map is less logically structured. While affinity diagrams have a logical organization, mind maps capture ideas as they come up, and those ideas may or may not relate to each other. Mind maps make it easier to visualize data or discover relationships between dissimilar ideas.

Which diagramming technique should I use?

I find that mind maps are more useful when the subject is conceptual and has not yet been well formed. Mind maps provide the flexibility to explore a subject.

I prefer affinity diagrams when concepts are more mature, i.e., when concepts have been analysed. Affinity diagrams also make it easier to manage concepts for a large complex project where mind maps may become too cluttered to be useful.

I find mind maps to be more useful in developing ideas and affinity diagrams more useful in communicating ideas.

I find that mind maps are more appropriate at the early stages of your project, and affinity diagrams are more useful later in the project. But, these are very flexible tools. Feel free to use which ever diagramming technique you deem most appropriate for your situation.

Mind maps can quickly become overcrowded and difficult to follow. It’s best to find the largest surface you can when you create a mind map for risks.

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:

"Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end."

- Igor Stravinsky