Preparing a project
Preparing a project

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Preparing a project

3.2.1 To draw a mind-map (manually)

  • Put your paper (ideally a large sheet) in landscape format and write a brief title for the overall topic in the middle of the page.

  • For each major sub-topic or cluster of material, start a new major branch from the central topic, and label it.

  • Each sub-sub-topic or sub-cluster forms a subsidiary branch to the appropriate main branch.

  • Continue in this way for ever finer sub-branches.

  • You may find that you want to put an item in more than one place. You could just copy it into each place. Alternatively, you could draw in a cross-link.

  • You may find that you want to show relationships between items on different branches. You can do this by coding them using colour, type of writing, etc.

  • You may find that it helps to bring the map to life if you identify particular branches, items, etc., with drawings, etc.

(Source: Buzan, T. (1982) Use Your Head, London, Ariel Books)

There are several mind mapping software packages, such as Compendium, available. They make it very much easier to edit and rearrange the map, they can sometimes hold notes and documents, etc. associated with labels (so that they can act as filing systems), and some can convert between map and text outliner formats. Figure 4 shows an example of a Compendium created mind map.

Figure 4
Figure 4 Mind mapping tool

You may be thinking that if the factors for success are well known, why do projects still fail? Managers often have to manage projects alongside their other tasks. The time and effort needed to plan the project may seem too great when other tasks are pressing. There is little to show in the planning stages and managers are often tempted to start on something where the action can be more visible.

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