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The 7 stages of the Group Mind Mapping process

How to devise your project comprehensively and clearly

This article deals with the development of a Group Mind Map with the Mind Mapping method according to Tony Buzan. Creating Group Mind Maps enables gathered individuals to pool and augment their unique creative skills. For example, you may employ Group Mind Maps to analyze and solve problems as a group, to plan and undertake projects. Specifically we will go into group project management.

The Group Mind Mapping process goes through seven main stages:

  1. Subject definition
  2. Individual brainstorming
  3. Sub-group discussion
  4. Preparing a primary multiple Mind Map
  5. Incubation
  6. Second revision
  7. Analysis and decision making

Subject definition

Formulate the subject clearly and distinctly, establish goals and give the group all relevant information required for consideration.

Individual brainstorming

Each group member should take an hour to make a Blitz Mind Map of sorts, revise and correct it. The main branches with their Basic Ordering Ideas (BOI) should become visible in this Blitz Mind Map. Within these key concepts a host of other concepts can be organized. They are the chapter headings you would use if you were writing a book on the subject.

To create your Blitz Mind Map you best draw a stimulating central image or write your central idea right in the middle of a large blank piece of paper. From there radiate all your relevant ideas that come to mind in the shapes of branches. Let your ideas stream from your brain as quickly as possible. You should not take longer than 20 minutes for this. Pressed for time, your brain is freed from its conventional thought patterns and promotes new and seemingly asburd inspirations. You should embrace them unconditionally, as they break with traditional, restrictive habits to unlock new prospects.

After preparing your Blitz Mind Map take a little break to give your brain a rest. By and by, integrate all your ideas generated so far. Then create a new Mind Map, establish the main branches or BOIs, connect and categorize them. Construct hierarchies, discover new associations and reconsider all your ideas within the context of the whole Mind Map.

You might recognize similar or even identical concepts while revising your Mind Map for the first time. Generally, they are no mere repetitions but fundamentally distinct in that they bind to different main branches of your Mind Map. These ideas are indeed quite important because they are hidden deep in your knowledge and obviously influence every aspect of your thinking. You should underline these terms upon their second occurrence, highlight them with a geometrical shape on their third and frame them three-dimensionally if they even come up a forth time to emphasize their importance. By connecting these interrelated three-dimensional concepts on your Mind Map you can create a new mental framework, which in turn may lead to new and unusual associations. A new idea, frequently discovered in the margins of your Mind Map, might become the center of an even more evolved concept.

Sub-group discussion

The group is now divided up into sub-groups of three to five members each. The members of each sub-group exchange ideas and append those of others to their own individual Mind Maps. Schedule one hour for this task. It is important that everybody assume an unequivocally positive and accepting attitude for every idea of all members to be supported and adopted. An idea originally thought to be stupid or irrelevant may turn out to be a material insight after a continued chain of associations has run its course.

Preparing a primary multiple Mind Map

Use a very large canvas for plotting the basic structure of the first multiple Group Mind Map. Agree on color and shape codes to guarantee focussed thoughts. Pick Basic Ordering Ideas as main branches and draw ALL these concepts into your Mind Map. While doing so, the whole group maintains their unrestrictedly positive attitudes, as before in their sub-groups.

Incubation

With creative Mind Mapping it is vital to let the Mind Map sink in. Figuratively, incubation means the subconscious hatching of ideas in a phase of relaxation after one of intensive reflection. As a group, take a break and wind down. In times of rest and solitude the brain is in harmony and establishes connections between all the pieces of information received. Oftentimes, a sudden, creative insight may strike.

Second revision

After incubation the group needs to reiterate stages 2, 3 and 4 to capture the results of freshly considered ideas and integrated thoughts. This means to create new Blitz Mind Maps, make a revised Mind Map to show the main branches, exchange ideas, modify the Mind Maps in sub-groups and lastly to generate a second Group Mind Map. Compare the two large multiple Group Mind Maps in preparation for the final stage.

Analysis and decision making

At the final stage, the group comes to important decisions, establishes goals, designs plans and reworks the Mind Map by methods of decision making we will adress in detail in another article.

In project management the creation of a Group Mind Map lends itself particularly to working in a project team or planning a project with a client. Group Mind Mapping is an excellent method for conceptualizing a project. It will help you compile and represent all the ideas and potential tasks of your project. In cooperation with both the members of the project team and the miscellaneous stakeholders. Once you you have gathered all the information and sorted it by categories in your Mind Map, the project appears much more straightforward, as it shows all the tasks required for its completion.

You may also create Mind Maps digitally by means of Mind Mapping software to save a lot of time. When applying Mind Mapping to project management, suitable software is advisable for many reasons. Merlin Project is a professional project management software for Mac and has the answers to all the questions concerned with planning and controlling your projects. The Mind Mapping within Merlin Project is systematic in nature, which is to say it is specially devised for the methods of working on projects. Construct the hierarchical make-up of your project as a Mind Map and Merlin Project automatically transforms your input into the work breakdown structure.

Posted by Julia Meiling on August 23rd, 2018 under Project Management
Tags: mind mapping mind map software

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