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:
- A definition of the role of the Project Manager, and
- 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
(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.