Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mind mapping: the ideal information exchange medium

During my many years of consultancy; I have noticed one aspect of the power of mind mapping that is recognized by all of my colleagues and clients alike.  It’s the use of a mind map to graphically convey, communicate and present data, information and knowledge.

The graphical capabilities of most of the mainstream mind mapping products are borderline Photoshop.  The ability to insert, manipulate and position images into the framework of a map has been one of the functions that have been the focus of my work as a consultant.

The use of images and icons within a mind map; borders also on the Information Architecture/User Experience arenas and the graphical facilitation arena. I don’t classify myself as being qualified to distinguish my skill set within the mentioned professional arenas; yet it is clear to me that we information management types bisect (on many occasions) the established professions of the IA/UX and graphical facilitation arenas.

Here’s an image I shared with a colleague relating to the Ford Production System (FPS).  FYI; the software used to create this map image was Mindjet MindManager 9; this is IMO the most polished and capable product for creating this kind of result.
The Image above was used as a means to convey, communicate and present (to both staff and labor) the basic understandings and self auditing capabilities (potentials) of all employees.  This approach to using mind mapping mixed with paragraphs of text as questions/instructions and inserted relevant images were noted as being extremely powerful as an information exchange medium.

If you are using mind mapping within your established business environment; consider using this format of use as the ideal information exchange medium.

I would be pleased to help you use mind mapping in this way to enable a more unambiguous format for information exchange within your organization.  I personally printed this image off as an extremely large (poster) format.  This image was placed strategically at positions within a manufacturing facility.  The feedback was excellent, and the employees regardless of position were impressed enough to make note of the power of the mapped format for future information/training use.

Let me know how and where you use mind mapping in this way and the feedback from your colleagues, suppliers, staff and labor?

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