Published here February, 2009.

Introduction | ConceptDraw PRO: The PM System 
ConceptDraw PROJECT: The SCOPE-PAK Plan
ConceptDraw MINDMAP: The PM Knowledge Domain | Footnote

ConceptDraw MINDMAP: The PM Knowledge Domain

Some will be familiar with the idea of "mind mapping", especially those who have used a competing product: MindManager by MindJet LLC that is available only for PC users. For those not familiar with this technique, the idea is to put a subject in the middle of a piece of paper, and link to it whatever related topics come to mind, with subsidiary linked topics as appropriate. So, ConceptDraw MINDMAP is a graphics program for brainstorming generally.

It enables you to collect and present ideas for such things as: developing thoughts for business cases; listing project objectives or project risks; solving problems, or organizing and structuring activities required to execute a project. The program's ability to share content with the other ConceptDraw Office tools, especially ConceptDraw PROJECT makes it a valuable way to rapidly develop preliminary project plans. In fact, generating a project file and Gantt chart are only one or tow clicks away.

As an example of a mind map, I constructed the chart shown in Figure 4, albeit sometime ago in MindManager and now transferred to MINDMAP. The original content was developed by twenty-one experts, who together represented considerable breadth and depth of project management experience around the world. They did so at a three-day working session in Lille, France, in February 2003. However, the source of much of the information arose from a prior detailed examination of then current project management standards and guides to elicit basic concepts and arrive at a consensus on:

  1. A definition of the role of the Project Manager, and
  2. Identification of 13 Units describing significant functions that need to be performed by most Project Managers in most contexts ...

I subsequently modified the original overly complex diagram to produce the simpler consolidated version as shown in Figure 4. The numbers in the diagram are references to the 48 topics in the original study. Unnumbered topics are those that I feel were missing and that I have since added.

Figure 4: Wideman's simplified map of project manager responsibilities and needed knowledge
(Click for larger diagram - opens in a new window)

It was my hope at the time that this model, or something similar, could become generally accepted as the basis for project management content. That's because, in all, this mapping encompasses a much broader spectrum of knowledge relevant to project management than just the current eight specific PMBoK knowledge areas that you see gathered together here under the topic of "Integration". I also think that it represents a much more logical grouping of topics for purposes of focused or specialty project management teaching and learning. Indeed, I often see project management courses offered that focus solely on one or more of these groupings.

The items in the yellow box in the top left hand corner, by the way, are those items that I believe belong in the newly emerging and separate discipline of project portfolio management. I assembled this group's content from entries first identified back in 2003 as I described earlier. Now, five years later, Project Portfolio Management (PPM) has come to the fore and, I suspect, still has some way to go before PPM is recognized for what it is - a new discipline, on a new plane, complete with its own tools, techniques and even its own Body of Knowledge.

In my view, there are lots of future opportunities for project managers and associated disciplines to move up the ladder into this domain, for those willing to study and accept the challenge.

Such is the power of graphics for effective communication.

ConceptDraw PROJECT: The SCOPE-PAK Plan  ConceptDraw PROJECT: The SCOPE-PAK Plan

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