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Business uses of mind maps


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Business uses of mind maps    Interactive Flash    Interactive PDF

Mind maps have grown from their introduction in the 1970s as principally an educational tool and now have extensive use in businesses worldwide.

Below is an outline of major business uses of mind mapping. This is not just a list of possibilities; you can follow the More... and other links to find ideas and explanations of how to use mind maps for these actions yourself.

Alternatively you can navigate by a full version of the mind map on the right. The following two links open an active mind map in a separate browser window. This map has hyperlinks to other parts of WikIT, and expanding branches.

Interactive map: Flash (recommended)

     PDF (problem?)



Accounting

Accounting-mnemonics.jpg
You might purse your lips in disbelief at the idea of accountants using mind maps, but they do. Some of them. What is less surprising is that the examples here are for CPA study. Accounting Mnemonics and Mind Maps is a site that provides free review materials for CPA exams in the form of mind maps. The web designer took the - um - unusual design decision of presenting the list of contents as pale acid green on white, so WikIT is reproducing it here for legibility:
Sourches of GAAP, an Introduction
Conceptual Framework Underlying Financial Accounting
Objective of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises
Qualitative Characteristics of Financial Information
Recognition and Measurement in the Financial Statements
Element of Financial Statements
Income Statement Introduction
Income Statement Presentation
Presentation of Income from Continuing Operations
Discontinued Operation
Extraordinary Items

Business analysis and consulting

Mind mapping can support business analysis and business consulting in many ways:

  • Business improvement
  • Business research and reporting

More...

Capturing company knowledge

Knowledge management makes extensive use of the rigor of concept mapping during the processes of knowledge elicitation and knowledge creation.

More...

Collaboration

Not so long ago, anyone wanting to collaborate in making a mind map could either meet up with colleagues or email mindmap files around. Now, collaborative web-based platforms allow collaboration in the Internet or the company intranet using a web browser.

Despite all these technology options, meeting in a room, with a good, even inspirational, facilitator can generate an energy that is difficult to reproduce on line.

More...

Decision making

Mind mapping can often be valuable in achieving a proper situational awareness when preparing for and making decisions - complex decisions especially.

On a mind map, you can describe the decision and its objectives, set out the parties involved, including the final decision maker and elucidate the many considerations, factors, weighting, alternatives, risks and so on.

You can plan and record such due diligence as may be needed, collect and organize the required information, presenting to others, evaluate the pros and cons, and finally make the decision.

More...

Events planning

Business events can cover such activities as large-scale meetings, formal training, trade shows, public seminars, AGMs, EGMs, press conferences and investor relations or media conference calls.

Mind maps can support planning such events, and evaluation of success and lessons learned, after the event.

More...

See also Presentations, Seminars, Training


Human Resources

Mind mapping can support planning in many areas of the Human Resources function, for example: Personnel; recruitment; induction; training; appraisals; succession; right through to exit interviews.

It is also a useful thinking framework for developing policies and procedures, staff manuals and job descriptions.

More...

Management

There are many areas of management where mind maps can be used: Strategic planning, preparing business plans, goal setting, problem solving, prioritizing issues, contract management, organizing committee roles, dashboards, planning, preparing, organizing and presenting policies and procedures, and in time management.

More...

Marketing

A mind map can form the framework around which a SWOT analysis is done. The freedom to link across the map, something that four list or four quadrants does not encourage, can produce new insights.

Competitive analysis and product design can be planned and carried out well in the context of a mind map.

More...

Meetings

Mind maps can be used in preparing for a meeting, taking your own notes during a meeting, acting as meeting secretary taking notes for formal minutes during a meeting, taking living minutes during meeting (where everyone else can see and comment as mind map minutes are made).

More...

Negotiation

Negotiation planning, elucidating alternatives, deciding where limits probably lie, assessing the parties involved and their interests and negotiating style can all be helped with mind maps.

More...

Planning

This is covered in many explicit areas of planning, not one generalized section.

Presentations

See Presentations and mind mapping

Project management

Project planning is well supported by mind mapping. Many projects have a research element and a mind map or group of maps is a good place in which to organize information found, results of research and questions raised and to be answered.

Mind maps can also be used to share project information, make presentations to project teams, report progress (visually) and disseminating project information to team members.

Software is available that can automatically make project-status dashboards from information held inside mind maps.

Past project records can be easily referred to and grasped much later, when presented in the form of the mind map or maps made at the time.

More...

Seminars

Mind mapping can be used for note-taking in seminars, for planning seminars and, with some audiences, as a presentation medium with which to tie the whole seminar together.

More...

See also Presentations and mind mapping

See also ~Training and mind mapping

Training

Mind mapping can be used by management for curriculum planning, by the trainers to organize their training material, training exercises and the training plan, and by the trainees for note-taking and as a reference to go back to when training is complete. Where applicable, it can be used to plan tests and examinations.

More...

Web sites

Planning web sites and even building them (with some software) is facilitated by mind maps.

It is also possible to present information on line visually in an image produced by mind mapping software.

More...

For free information about the hundreds of visual thinking tools available, visit the
Visual Thinking Center
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